The Florida Highway Patrol has reported that a Memorial Day crash on the northbound I-95 near Titusville had serious consequences, with three children killed, all girls under the age of 18, while eight others were left with serious injuries.
The northbound lanes of I-95 have been shut down near mile marker 220 due to the fatal crash, which occurred on Monday at approximately 6 p.m in Titusville, Florida, about 40 miles east of Orlando. The shutdown lasted for almost four hours as emergency personnel and law enforcement worked to attend to the injured and clear the affected vehicles. Emergency crews from numerous different agencies, Titusville Fire Department, Brevard County Florida Fire Rescue, the Florida Highway Patrol, helicopters from First Flight, and a Volusia County helicopter, were all on hand at the scene of the fatal crash.
— WFTV Eyewitness News (@WFTV) May 31, 2016
Troopers are reported to have arrived on scene at 6:32 p.m. The injured were all taken to a nearby hospital, while Florida Today says the three children killed were pronounced dead at the scene.
According to Brevard County Fire Rescue, the crash left up to 11 people as patients, resulted in six trauma alerts, and of course caused the multiple fatalities. Authorities from the Florida Highway Patrol revealed that the three children were killed – and the other eight people injured – when an SUV that had been carrying 11 people skidded off the busy Titusville highway in Florida on Monday night.
The resulting news reports advised that the fatal crash seemed to have come about due to a tire malfunction on the SUV, which caused the driver to lose control of the white Durango, which ended up crashing near a perimeter wall in Titusville. WFTV reported that the car flipped multiple times before it came to a stop. Officials say that the car had only been occupied by family members and friends. One witness by the name of Rick Curry said that he had pulled over and tried to help the vehicles occupants after the horrific crash.
“When it caught the grass, it maybe went 25 to 30 feet in the air, maybe more, and just spinning. I couldn’t tell you how many times we saw debris coming out of the car. It was horrible, and being children, the parents were frantic and could not find the toddler, who they claim was in a car seat. He was eventually found on the other side of a 20- to 25-foot divider wall between I-95.”
— Florida Today (@Florida_Today) May 31, 2016
The toddler that the witness made mention of was reportedly ejected from the car during the fatal crash on the highway in Titusville but was later found by rescue crews who heard the cries of the child coming from the backyard of a home situated across from the highway’s barrier. Highway Patrol spokesman Steven Montiero said that the child was fortunate and only suffered minor injuries when found. The child is counted among the eight injured, and authorities said it was a miracle that he had survived. The parents of the child have stated that he was in a car seat prior to the crash.
Montiero’s review of the crash that killed three children and injured of eight others stated, however, that a lack of seat-belts seemed to play a major role. The authorities said that the SUV was only designed to carry seven persons, and as such the 11 people who were crammed in the vehicle could not have been properly secured.
“When you don’t have your seat belt on, it’s a recipe for disaster. If something is going to go wrong, it’s going to go wrong because you are not wearing your seat belt.”
As of Monday night, the identities of the victims were still being withheld from the public.
[Photo Courtesy of Martin Lisner/ Shutterstock]