Last Updated: Sunday, 7:30 a.m.
Diane K. Upton, 58, of Palm Coast, was killed, another woman was flown to Halifax hospital in critical condition, and a 5-year-old child was also transported to Halifax in serious condition following a two-vehicle wreck on State Road 100 near Target in Palm Coast Saturday evening.
Kalyn Upton, 24, and Vivian Upton, 5, also of Palm Coast, were seriously hurt. Rebecca Lawless, 26, of Palm Coast, the driver of the second vehicle, was uninjured.
The wreck took place at a little after 9:30 at the intersection of Landing Boulevard–one of the exits from Town Center–and SR100. A Florida Highway Patrol investigation shows it was caused by Lawless running a red light. Charges are pending against lawless.
State Road 100 westbound was entirely closed from Landing Boulevard to Belle Terre Parkway. Drivers were advised to detour on Town Center Boulevard or Landing Boulevard for the duration of the investigation, which took several hours in the middle of the night. SR100 eastbound was down to one lane.
The Florida Highway Patrol and Flagler County Sheriff’s Office were at the scene, with FHP investigating.
The wreck involved a white Chrysler PT Cruiser and a white Toyota Camry. There were three people in the Chrysler: Diane Upton at the wheel, Kalyn Upton in the back on the driver’s side, and Vivian Upton, the 5-year-old, on the passenger side. FHP initially reported that there were two women in the Camry, but the report FHP issued early Sunday morning listed only Rebecca Lawless, the driver.
According to one of the FHP investigators at the scene, Diane Upton was driving the Chrysler out of the Target shopping center on Landing Boulevard, preparing to make a left to go east on State Road 100, when Lawless’s Camry, running a red light as she was driving west on 100, slammed into the Chrysler, T-bone fashion.
The Camry ended up in the middle of the intersection, its front smashed, facing mostly east. The Chrysler was 20 to 30 feet to the Camry’s west, almost parallel to it but facing in the other direction.
Lawless is the only one of the people in the two vehicles who was not injured. She had at one point been detained in one of the police vehicle. “She appeared to be uninjured,” the investigator said.
A witness at the scene said “she could barely walk” when she was taken out of her vehicle, but she was standing and appeared aware, leaning against a deputy’s car, later in the evening. FHP listed as “pending” the determination on Lawless’s blood-alcohol status.
“We’re processing the scene,” the investigator said, and speaking with the driver.
Vivian, the child, was believed to have been taken to Florida Hospital Flagler (where less than critical injuries are treated) but was then transferred to Halifax in Daytona Beach.
Kalyn Upton was flown to Halifax on a trauma alert on Fire Flight, Flagler County’s emergency helicopter, even though the helicopter normally goes out of service at 9 p.m.: its hours were extended this weekend because of Biketoberfest and the expectations of more bike wrecks. No motorcycles were involved in this evening’s wreck, however.
Also responding to the scene were the county’s Engine 92, Bunnell’s Engine 62, Flagler Beach’s Engine 11–which only this morning led the attack in a house fire in Flagler Beach–, three county ambulances (92, 11 and 51) and a county battalion unit. The Palm Coast Fire Police is controlling traffic around the scene.
As of 10:30, the majority of fire department units had left the scene. At 11:07 p.m., Fire Flight returned from Daytona Beach, circled once above the scene, then flew to its landing spot at Flagler County Airport.
While FHP’s report lists the crash victims as being from Palm Coast, their individual Facebook pages list Diane as being from Flagler Beach and Kalyn from the Hammock.
A few days ago Diane posted a meme on her Facebook page: “Parents are not around forever.” The image, showing a jovial set of grandparents, urges readers to “call them, visit them, take their grandchildren to see them,” because “tomorrow might be too late.” At 5 p.m. Saturday, Upton posted her last item on her Facebook page. She was sharing a link: “Which Bible verse describes you?” Hers was Deuteronomy 31:6, which reads: “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he is that doth does with thee; he will not fail thee, nor foresake thee.”