Eight people were killed and 10 more were injured on March 30 after a church van they were traveling in ran through a stop sign, went across all of the lanes of traffic on U.S. 27 and landed in a roadside canal in the southwest part of Florida. The Florida Highway Patrol reported that there were 18 total people in the van, and that the driver was among the eight confirmed dead. The group had been returning home from a church in Fort Myers.
One of the biggest questions in the wake of the accident was what exactly could have caused it. It reportedly occurred around 12:30 a.m. in Glades County. Although it was obviously dark outside, the weather at the time was clear and dry. One officer said it was possible that the driver simply didn’t see the stop sign. The Highway Patrol spoke to some of the survivors of the accident, but was waiting to conduct more in-depth interviews until later.
The van was severely damaged in the crash. The front was smashed in and a door had to be removed. Passengers who escaped had to resort to kicking out windows to be able to extract themselves away from the wreckage.
There are a number of issues investigators will be likely to look at in a case like this. For example, anyone driving a vehicle with 16 or more people in Florida has to have a Class C commercial driver’s license, so they will likely check to see if the driver was properly licensed. Investigators were also expected to analyze the vehicle to determine if a mechanical error could have caused the crash.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, meet with an experienced Bradenton personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh today.