BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Four people have died in a semitrailer-involved crash on southbound Interstate 95 near Titusville, the Florida Highway Patrol confirmed Wednesday morning.
- Four people who died were related
- Some lanes have reopened
- More Brevard County coverage
- Get the latest traffic updates with the Road Report
The initial crash report from Brevard County Fire Rescue was called in at 6 p.m. Tuesday. The crash involved the pickup and a semitrailer hauling cars.
At 6 a.m. Wednesday, FHP confirmed four people were killed.
The four people who died are all related, all men and all residents of Fort Pierce, according to FHP. They are: Driver Juan Magana, 30, Jose Magana, 38, Jose Magana Guil, 58, and Jaime Magana, 50.
They were traveling in a pickup hauling an excavator on a trailer.
The driver was the only one wearing a seatbelt, and no one in the 2018 Ram pickup truck was under the influence of alcohol, stated FHP.
The semitrailer driver, Charlie Doles, 60 of Georgia, was not injured and was not under the influence of alcohol, according to FHP in a news release.
"We don't believe anybody was speeding, or drinking and driving, but we're focusing our investigation on how that axle came off that trailer and caused this crash," Lt. Kim Montes with Florida Highway Patrol told Spectrum News 13.
The pickup truck was in the right lane and the left rear axle of the trailer it was carrying broke off. The axle traveled to the center lane where the semi was and went under it, which caused the semi driver to lose control, stated FHP.
The semitrailer went into the right lane and struck the pickup truck and the resulting crash sent both vehicles and the cargo they were carrying into the shoulder, explained the FHP report.
The pickup truck overturned, sending two occupants flying out of the vehicle. The pickup came to a rest under the semi, which had jackknifed.
The cleanup has been complicated and time-consuming because the car carrier went into the woods. The vehicles on the carrier had to be removed before the carrier could be pulled out of the woods, Montes said.
All three men died at the scene, except for Jaime Magana, who was transported to Parrish Medical Center in Titusville, where he died, according to the FHP.
The crash at mile marker 221 was blocking the southbound outside and center lanes. However, two lanes have since reopened, but the right lane remains blocked.
Traveling During the Holidays
According to AAA, two and a half million Floridians are traveling on the road this Thanksgiving holiday.
Ed and Maria Kaim hail from Virginia, but each Thanksgiving, they hit the road for the Sunshine State, destined for his niece and nephew-in-law's home in Stuart.
"That's one of the worst ones I've ever seen," said Ed Kaim.
The couple passed the aftermath of the horrific crash.
Lt. Montes says telling families one of their loved ones was killed in a crash is magnified during the holidays.
"I had to go tell a family their daughter was killed in a crash; it was two days before Christmas," Montes said. "I'll never forget that. Because that family has been changed, and changed around a holiday that will never be the same."
FHP says expect more traffic on the road this time of year, don't take risks, pack patience, and make sure your car, truck, or trailer is in good, working order.
Expect extra patrols over the next few days, and always wear your seatbelt, no matter how short the trip is.