Last Updated: Saturday, 9:54 a.m.
Just as Bike Week is peaking for its final weekend, U.S. 1 north of Matanzas Woods Parkway became the scene of the week’s most serious crash this afternoon, resulting in the hospitalization of two men and a woman, one of them with traumatic head injuries. He had to be air-lifted from the scene.
The crash took place at 3:25 in the southbound lanes of U.S. 1, about half a mile south of the intersection with Old Kings Road.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene, a group of four bikers, all from a family of Tampa residents, were riding together, south on U.S. 1. They were in the outside lane.
Daija Michelle Shavers, an 18-year-old resident of Orange Park, was driving south as well–also in the outside lane. “She just got up and plowed into them,” the investigator said, knocking them down one after the other. “She was in the outside lane, she came up on them and went through them.”
Shavers remained at the scene. She could not explain to the investigator what had happened. “There was no impairment,” he said. She could have fallen asleep, or may have been texting, the investigator surmised. “Right now it’s careless driving,” he said, referring to the possible charge Shavers may face.
The front right of her Ford was especially damaged.
“She wasn’t texting and she wasn’t falling asleep and there’s a lot of issues there,” Linda Wilson-Shavers, her mother, told FlaglerLive in a phone call later in the day, insisting that no “plowing” took place and suggesting that possibly her daughter may have “blacked out.”
The wreckages stretched over the length of a football field, with two of the four bikes knocked over in the grass. One of the bikes appeared not to have been struck, and was parked by roadside, its rider unhurt and standing and talking at the scene. All the other bikes exhibited damage.
A man and a woman were taken by ground to Florida Hospital Flagler. Both sides of U.S. 1 shut down for about 20 minutes as Fire Flight, the county’s emergency helicopter, landed and took the third victim, a man, to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach.
As the investigator worked the scene, the man who’d survived the crash and Shavers stood at opposite ends, separated by the field of wreckage.
The southbound lanes of U.S. 1 remain closed from near the county line. The northbound lanes were open and had light traffic. Flagler County Fire Rescue, the Palm Coast Fire Department, the Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Highway Patrol all responded. The Palm Coast Fire Police regulated traffic.
John’s Towing was called to the scene but picked up only one of the bikes.
Oddly, Shaver’s mother attempted to give the Ford away to John’s Towing and reportedly left a note on the car, after taking off the car’s tag, saying that whoever towed it could have it.
“She did try to give it away,” John Rogers, owner of John’s Towing, said Saturday morning. His crews declined. “It sounded fishy to me,” he said. It was his understanding that someone from Jacksonville eventually towed the vehicle.
The road re-opened at 6:15 p.m.