Lake County, FL. – A chain-reaction accident happened Sunday on Florida’s turnpiked that injured more than a dozen people and left two FSU students dead.
Florida Highway Patrol report released Monday that a dodge pickup slammed into the back of Valentina Martinez, 20, and Antonio Mesa, 18, and was killed. Troopers reported that Martinez was taken to the Orlando Regional Medical Center where she succumbed to her wounds and Mesa was pronounced dead the scene.
The pickup truck, Bilal Ead, 32, slammed into the back of the 2013 Hyundai Sonata carrying Mesa, Martinez and two others, where he failed to slow down when traffic reduced as they headed North. All four passengers were students at FSU when classes were scheduled to resume on Monday. The crash created a chain creation adding five vehicles to the pile.
A motorist driving on the Southbound lane posted a video of the crash on Facebook where it showed how the Sonata was sandwiched between the SUV and the pickup truck. There were people sitting on the grass in the median, dazed, as paramedics, deputies, and firefighters helped the injured.
The motorist, Barry Deemer, 52, who posted the video stated: “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything that bad”. He was returning from an event in Gainesville as he recorded the accident.
Another person, 25-year old Kyle Artman, was heading southbound and stumbled upon the accident. Artman said:” There were some people laying on the side of the road with blankets on them”
The Florida Highway Patrol reported that the passenger Aztli Jiminez, 18, and Driver Maria Cardenas, 19, of the Sonata were severely injured.
The driver of the pickup Bilal Ead was also injured.
The accident took place South of Leesburg and North of Groveland near a mile marker 290 at around 5:45 p.m.
The Northbound lanes were closed for several hours due to the pileup. FHP Trooper Steve Montiero called it “one of the worst ones we’ve seen this year — if not longer.” Late Sunday night. 17 people were treated at the crash.
Everyone else suffered minor injuries and were taken to Leesburg Regional Medical Center or ORMC.