1 killed, others injured in Florida Turnpike big rig crash

A University of Florida student died when her vehicle was struck by a semi-trailer after she swerved to avoid a collision with another big rig. All except one of four passengers in the vehicle were transported to a hospital, treated and released. One passenger was hospitalized with fractured ribs. All of the vehicle’s occupants were current or former University of Florida students.

The accident happened on the morning of July 13 as the group was traveling in a Ford Explorer to Orlando to visit some friends. According to a former UF student who was a passenger in the Explorer, the vehicle fishtailed and began to flip after the driver was forced to swerve to avoid colliding with a big rig that started merging into their lane. The Explorer came to rest on its roof after flipping over three times.

The former student said she and another passenger were able to get out of the overturned vehicle before it was struck head-on by a second semi-trailer. She says she thought that everyone had been able to get out, but later realized that was not the case. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the semi-truck struck the Explorer on the driver’s side, and the Explorer’s 19-year-old driver died at the crash scene.

Freeway accidents involving passenger vehicles and big rigs often result in catastrophic injuries or death. When a loved one dies in a truck accident, the emotional and mental toll taken upon those left to mourn the loss can seem insurmountable. The survivors may also be required to expend unbudgeted financial resources on emergency, medical and burial expenses. They may be able to seek reimbursement for accident-related costs as well as the value of future economic losses arising from the death of their loved one by bringing a wrongful death claim in civil court.

Source: Alligator, “UF student killed in horrific highway accident”, Steven Katona, July 21, 2014