Last Updated: Tuesday, 7:13 p.m.
Two people–a mother and child–were killed in a two-vehicle crash on Palm Coast Parkway at Pine Cone Drive, near the Post Office, at about 7 p.m. Monday evening (Jan. 16) in what may have been the collateral result of a road rage incident. Immediately after the crash, people involved in the road-rage incident nearly came to blows even as the car most severely struck in the collision, with two people aboard, flared with flames.
The Florida Highway Patrol identified one of the victims as Terri Lynn Wickel, 55, of Palm Coast. FHP identified the second victim in mid-afternoon Tuesday as Margaret Ann Wickel, a student at Matanzas High School, who had been a passenger in Terri Wickel’s car, and was her daughter.
The crash involved a 2000 Chevy Silverado pick-up truck driven by Tyler Lane Wilkinson, 25, of Palm Coast, a felon with a number of traffic citations on his record, and Wickel’s 2016 Ford Fusion.
Wilkinson was traveling west on Palm Coast Parkway. Wickel was driving south on Lupi Court, by the Watson Realty Office. (Lupi Court is essentially the continuation of Pine Cone Drive under a different name.)
Wilkinson, according to FHP, citing a witness, ran the red light at the intersection and collided with the Ford. Both vehicles careened into the ditch at the south side of the parkway, well into the tree-line. The Ford was deep enough into the woodline that only its trunk was showing. The pickup truck ended up in the ditch, facing west.
Paramedics had stretched a ladder across the somewhat waterlogged ditch to get to the Ford. Both occupants of the Ford were pronounced dead at the scene. The vehicle had been reported to be briefly on fire immediately after the crash, according to 911 notes.
Wilkinson had minor injuries and was not transported to a hospital.
Tuesday morning, a source reported to FlaglerLive that the crash had been preceded by a road-rage incident between Wilkinson and a motorcyclist, stretching back to around the intersection with Boulder Rock Drive near Chick-Fil-A. It’s not clear what triggered the incident between the motorcyclist–who was riding with a passenger–and Wilkinson.
But 911 dispatch center notes corroborate claims that an incident took place between the motorcycle and Wilkinson: “Truck cut off bike,” the 911 dispatcher reported at 6:51 p.m., two minutes after the crash had been reported to 911. “Rider on bike hand gestured.” Thirty seconds later, a caller to 911 reported a verbal fight, apparently between the biker and Wilkinson. “They were close to physical,” the dispatcher continued, “pushing each other,” with a female at the scene, possibly the passenger riding with the motorcyclist–FHP did not report a passenger in Wilkinson’s truck–“screaming you fuck*** killed him” and “pushing another party.” (The starred abbreviation was in the original 911 report.)
Three 911 Calls From the Scene[media id=414 width=350 height=250]
The 911 dispatch communications reflect a shocking intermingling of reports from the scene about the verbal and possibly physical altercation with reports of the severity of crash, the lack of a pulse from one of the victims in the sedan–most likely Wickel, and the declaration, at 7 p.m., of both victims in the Fusion being declared dead.
The 911 dispatch notes from 6:56 p.m. on are only about the crash, with nothing else reported about the fight. The source who spoke with FlaglerLive said the motorcyclist left the scene soon after the crash, allegedly when the sound of sirens approached. The Florida Highway Patrol was notified of the crash at 7:11 p.m. as sheriff’s deputies continued to gather witness statements and securing the scene.
Tuesday evening, the sheriff’s office released three 911 calls from the scene of the crash. Two of them describe the crash. In another, a man describes the altercation between Wilkinson and the motorcyclist, though in often garbled language.
“I’m on Palm Coast Parkway, there’s [an] accident, people are arguing,” the caller says. “There’s people out there right now. I saw the whole thing happen.” The caller then says something garbled about the truck and the bike, then describes “a truck that almost cut-off the bike, the bike was mad, the guy on the bike stuck his middle finger.” More garbled language follows, “but they were so into each other” that they ended up crashing with the sedan (though only the pick-up truck crashed with the Ford).
A little later the caller says the individuals are “here arguing,” then the 911 dispatcher can hear him turn to the individuals in the altercation as he yells out, “guys, guys, guys,” as the voice of a woman cussing somebody out several times rings in the background, “guys, arguing is not going to help out anything.”
This is immediately after the crash—as the victims are dying or dead in the ditch.
The caller then says 10 or 15 people are at the scene, and then asks someone if anyone is injured. Someone, apparently a nurse, has checked a victim and detected no pulse.
Another 911 caller says “the car just burst in flames” when the truck struck it. Another caller says a “a horrible accident” took place then provides a more precise description: “Two vehicles involved. It was a t-bone accident, guy ran a red light, somebody stuck in the vehicle right now.” He says “they’re completely crushed in the car. It’s really bad.”
The 911 dispatcher asks him whether they’re conscious and alert. Then the caller is heard yelling out the question to someone near the car: “Are they conscious? Are they conscious? No.”
Wilkinson, a young father of two who just started a local screening business, has a checkered traffic and criminal history.
In June 2015, Wilkinson, a resident of 7 Big Dipper Lane in Palm Coast and a graduate of Matanzas High School, was cited for running a stop sign. He paid a $166 fine. The previous year he was cited for speeding, then assessed an additional fine for failing to pay, and eventually paid a $154 fine. Three weeks after that citation, he was cited for having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle. He paid a $139 fine. In 2011, he was cited for having illegal tinting on his vehicle’s windows and paid a $116 fine.
In late 2011, he was arrested and charged with the sale of marijuana, a third-degree felony. He pleaded no contest and was placed on two years’ drug-offender probation, then violated his probation, leading to the revocation of his probation and his imprisonment in Florida state prison in April 2013, where he served the rest of the year, according to Department of Corrections records.
Wilkinson’s alcohol status is pending, according to the FHP report. FHP requested a blood draw from him at 8:40 p.m. The bodies of the victims had to be extricated from the crushed car. That operation was not completed until 11:15 p.m.
The Florida Highway Patrol was investigating the scene after the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office turned the scene over to FHP, with units from the Palm Coast Fire Department still at the scene well after the crash. The Palm Coast Fire Police had reduced westbound traffic on the three-lane Parkway to one lane.
The investigation was active for several hours. The FHP homicide investigator is Justin Roundtree.
The crash resulted in the second and third fatalities in three days on Palm Coast Parkway. On Jan. 12, Tyler Allen, 21, was killed when his motorcycle rear-ended a motorist on Palm Coast Parkway East, near canopy Walk.