A family of five riding in one car and an off-duty law enforcement officer riding in the other were injured, some of them seriously, and sent to three different hospitals, one of them by air, after a three-vehicle crash in the construction zone for the coming roundabout at U.S. 1 and Old Dixie Highway.
The crash took place a few minutes before 7 this evening, closing U.S. 1 in both directions–north at the White Eagle Lounge and Old Dixie Highway, and south at Seminole Woods Parkway.
Among the injured, a 13-year-old boy was flown by Flagler County Fire Flight to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, and a toddler was transported by ground to AdventHealth Palm Coast, one of four people taken there. The boy was a trauma alert, with head injuries. He was in serious but stable condition, authorities said.
One adult man was taken to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach, also in serious but stable condition. It’s not clear for now if that was the off-duty Daytona Beach police officer, who was the only occupant of a Chevy TrailBlazer. The family of five were all riding in a Toyota Rav4. The single occupant of a Lexus that was also involved in the crash was not injured and remained at the scene. None of the injured face life-threatening injuries.
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to the call. The investigation is being conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol. Flagler County Fire Rescue sent three rescues to the scene after declaring the scene a mass-casualty incident. The Palm Coast Fire Police regulated traffic.
In the construction zone, which extends about half a mile north of the intersection where the roundabout is being built, both north and southbound traffic is diverted onto what used to be the two southbound lanes, which are now divided by a double-yellow, low concrete divider, with northbound traffic on one side and southbound traffic on the other. The divider is no higher than the standard curb. The lanes are narrow, with concrete barriers on the west side and orange construction barrels on the other.
Preliminary indications, according to officials at the scene, are that one of the vehicles appears to have jumped the divider, crashing into one vehicle, then another. The Lexus ended up about 50 to 70 yards further south from the crash scene, perpendicular to the two lanes. The Chevy and the Toyota were in a head-on lock when a tower from Bunnell’s John’s Towing separated them.
During the rescue, paramedics discovered a dead wild turkey against the concrete barrier, next to the TrailBlazer. It’s not known if the bird was a crash fatality or if it had been the victim of earlier roadkill.
The $4.1 million construction project at the intersection began in January. It is expected to take 15 months, with traffic shifts affecting U.S. 1 most of that time. The Department of Transportation project will result in a roundabout at what until recently had been one of the deadliest intersections in the county. The roundabout is designed to reduce fatal and serious traffic crashes. On Tuesday, a motorcyclist lost his life in a crash in the construction zone on I-95, just north of Palm Coast Parkway.