Officers in the Florida Highway Patrol were kept busy this weekend as a series of incidents cost the lives of 10 people, including a Broward woman who was 7 months pregnant. A total of 5 car accidents involving drivers, passengers, pedestrians and Good Samaritans occurred in one 24-hour period from Saturday night to Sunday night. The victims have not all been indentified and several of the crashes remain under investigation
The most deadly of the crashes may have involved a wrong-way driver on the Gratigny Expressway. A car and an SUV collided head-on. Three passengers in one vehicle and the driver in the other vehicle were trapped in their cars when fires broke out. All four were killed, either by the crash or by the flames. FHP is still trying to determine the identities of the people who lost their lives.
Two of the accidents involved hit and run drivers. A white cargo van struck and killed a 5-year-old girl as she played in front of her home. The driver fled the scene without offering to assist. The child’s mother at first attempted to drive her to the hospital, but then called paramedics. Police are seeking information about the driver of the van. In Homestead, the driver of a vehicle and a Good Samaritan who had stopped to assist in changing a tire were hit when a car drove off the road onto the shoulder and struck them. That driver, too, fled the scene.
The pregnant woman was in Fort Lauderdale on vacation. She was in a pool cabana behind her hotel when a car ran off the road and struck the cabana. The woman and her unborn child were both killed and the driver of the vehicle suffered serious injuries.
Every fatal accident is a tragedy. Thousands of people are killed every year in car and truck collisions. Few people consider the possible consequences of negligent driving. Whether the driver has been drinking, is distracted by a cell phone or passenger, or is simply incapable of operating the vehicle safely, lives are lost when people do not take the proper care. In just 24 hours, South Florida saw several of the ways that negligent driving can tear a family apart.
Source: The Miami Herald, “10 people killed in 24 hours in South Florida car accidents,” by Christina Veiga, 18 March 2012