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Five Adults Are Killed As a Ford Expedition Carrying 9 Flips on I-95 North of Palm Coast

| December 6, 2010

The Expedition uprooted several trees as it flipped and was embedded deep inside the treeline, on its side. (© FlaglerLive)

The Expedition uprooted several trees as it flipped and was embedded deep inside the treeline, on its side. (© FlaglerLive)

Three women and two men were killed in a single-vehicle wreck on I-95 two miles north of the Palm Coast Parkway exit shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday night.

Hugo Campos-Leon, the 18-year-old who was at the wheel of the blue Ford Expedition, was flown to Halifax Hospital on Flagler County’s Air One just before 1 a.m. with an extremely faint heartbeat. He died later.

Four children survived the crash. They were injured, but none with life-threatening injuries. Two were evacuated to Halifax Hospital buy ambulance in critical condition, two were taken to Florida Hospital Flagler. Among the survivors, there was a 6-year-old boy and two 6-year-old girls, an 11-year-old boy and a fourth older child or younger adult. Two of the 6 year olds had been ejected from the vehicle.

The deceased were identified as Fidel Salgado, 36; Ana Lilia Figueroa-Garcia, 34; Maria Mercedez Corona-Leon, 28; and Maria Celia Leon de Corona, 48.

The survivors were Jairo Salgado, 11; Aldo Villanueva-Leon, 6, Liset Villanueva-Leon, 6, and Dayanna Salgado, 6.

The driver and all the passengers were Hispanics, all of them from Eustis. One carried a Mexican identification card. Only two adults (Hugo Campos-Leon, the driver, and Fidel Salgado) were wearing seatbelts.

The Ford was traveling south, in the middle lane of the three-lane interstate, when the rear tire on the driver’s side of the 1999 Expedition shredded. The Ford veered off toward the treeline in a straight line, judging from the tracks. Tire tracks deepened in the grass and abruptly stopped some 6 to 8 feet from the treeline, where the Ford began to flip, uprooting trees as it rolled. Several palm and pine trees were literally pulled from their roots and cracked. The momentum of the vehicle sent it rolling about 12 to 15 feet inside the treeline, where it came to a rest on its side—on the driver’s side–embedded between trees. The path the Ford had cleared similar to the clearing commonly seen through treelines in front of billboards: the force of the wreck was that violent.

The vehicle could not be leveled during the rescue operation. The four children were extricated. But members of the Palm Coast Fire Department then worked methodically, in 43-degrees weather, to shear off the roof of the vehicle in order to get to the driver and the rest of the four passengers, who had already been pronounced dead. (The Palm Coast Fire Department’s Engine 22 was first on the scene, followed by Engine 23 and 21. Two rescue unites from the Flagler County Fire Department also responded, as did units of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and five or six Florida Highway Patrol troopers. The medical examiner arrived at 25 minutes after midnight.)

Interstate traffic was reduced to one southbound lane, then shut down just after at 12:05 a.m. to enable the helicopter to land just south of the accident scene. Highway traffic was at a standstill for more than half an hour as rescuers were not able to bring bodies out of the vehicle before 12:30, and the driver shortly after that. Medics worked on the driver for 10 minutes, on a stretcher, stabilizing him, before he was taken to the helicopter.

The group was returning from a trip to North Carolina.

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13 Responses for “Five Adults Are Killed As a Ford Expedition Carrying 9 Flips on I-95 North of Palm Coast”

  1. Tim says:

    FYI: I believe it’s Eustis, not Eustice

  2. DC says:

    My Prayers Go out to the Persons involved… :(

  3. Jojo says:

    May they rest in peace.

  4. Mike Hawk says:

    Air One is Volusia County Sheriff’s Office helicopter not Flaglrs.

  5. sue says:

    My heart just breaks for this family. I hope the children are all doing well and have other family members to care for them. RIP

  6. Ralph Belcher says:

    They were returning from a family reunion of sorts in North Carolina, heading home. How ironic…

    For the love of Pete – everyone keep an eye on the everyday items on the old fashioned motorist checklist. I keep on my 19 year old about checking tire pressure and condition, oil levels, etc… and I won’t let up on him until I notice it’s a regular habit for him. There’s no substitue for safety.

  7. elaygee says:

    No children seatbelted, original 11 year old tires, seats for 8 and 10 people in it and to top it off, the least experienced driver drove at 1AM at 20-30 miles over the speed limit.

    They did NOTHING right.

  8. Melanie says:

    Regardless of fault, God bless these children that were the only survivors, who lost their parents in this awful accident.

  9. Flagler Citizen says:

    Gee, elaygee, what article did you read that gave you the information you are stating? Obviously, not this one! While the vehicle was 11 years old, nothing was mentioned about the age of the tires, they could have been brand new. “20-30 miles over the speed limit”, where is that mentioned? This is enough of a tragedy without baseless information being said.

  10. brookizett08 says:

    he was my friend and this was tragic…alot of people were affected and some of u can just be on here to talk bad…seriously?? find something to do.

  11. Brittany says:

    He was my friend too, he was an amazing driver this was just a case in which he couldnt really do anything about it. God takes the best (‘: may you rest in peace my love. Its been 6 months and you are forever missed. & @elaygee they are right you are just assuming so dont talk like you know. I love you hugo.

  12. never4gotten says:

    hugo was my friend he was a great drvier i miss him idk who is to blame but 1 thing i do know is that we still sufer for what happen and most of his family died with him and the ones who are still here try to make the best of it. it was a horribly accident and i hpoe they are in peace now.

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