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Diane Upton of Palm Coast Is Killed, Kalyn Upton and Child Seriously Hurt in 2-Vehicle Wreck on SR100 Near Target

| October 18, 2014

The wreck involved two sedans at the intersection of SR 100 and Landing Boulevard. (c FlaglerLive)

The wreck involved two sedans at the intersection of SR 100 and Landing Boulevard. (c FlaglerLive)

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.

Kalyn and Vivian Upton. (Facebook)

Kalyn and Vivian Upton. Click on the image for larger view. (Facebook)

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.”

The Camry. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Camry. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)


The Chrysler was struck on its driver's side. (© FlaglerLive)

The Chrysler was struck on its driver’s side. (© FlaglerLive)


The driver of the Camry. (© FlaglerLive)

The driver of the Camry. (© FlaglerLive)


Rebecca Lawless at the scene. (© FlaglerLive)

Rebecca Lawless at the scene. (© FlaglerLive)

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34 Responses for “Diane Upton of Palm Coast Is Killed, Kalyn Upton and Child Seriously Hurt in 2-Vehicle Wreck on SR100 Near Target”

  1. Jimmy M says:

    Very informative story, well written, thanks.

  2. Carl says:

    Hope everyone else pulls through , very sad someone died , hope it wasn`t caused because they were fed up with getting stuck at red lights….. just like on Palm Coast Parkway, 100 does the same to you, and they do it on purpose, to get you fed up with getting stuck at them …and trying to beat the next one, them damn things need to go!!!

    • markingthedays says:

      Good idea Carl. Get rid of the red lights so every one can drive 65 MPH down SR-100!

      • Carl says:

        @Marking the days , I`m not talking about getting rid of red lights ,I`m talking about getting rid of the red light cams , my laptop has a way of erasing sentences and words and you can`t edit and fix it on this site like on face book, talking about how they rigged the red lights with the cams so you get stuck at each and everyone so they can get you for 158 bucks , they rig the lights , traffic should flow to save gas and time , but in PC they got them rigged to get stuck at every single light and they are the same on 100 during certain hrs .

        • Erin says:

          I agree, people are so distracted by the red light cameras that at times the driver is more focused on them than on safety.

    • Katy says:

      Makes a lot of sense! Anyone fed up with being stuck at a red-light needs to either stay home or consider anger management Get real.

      My prayers are with the family.

  3. Tiffany martinez says:

    I hate this road! Too many innocent people taken…. Sending my love and prayers to the family! My father was taken on this road!

  4. Anonymous says:

    It’s always sad to hear when someone loses a life in an auto accident. I wish everyone who survived, a speedy recovery, and pray for comfort for the family and friends who have lost a loved one.

  5. Jeremy Bartlett says:

    My family and I know the Uptons as we went to the same church a few years ago. Diane was a very cool person who helped out a lot with the kids at the church (myself included). She will be missed, and my family will pray for her daughter and granddaughter in hopes of a quick recovery.

  6. Cindy says:

    I am so sorry to hear this news. Diane was a wonderful grandmother helping raise little Vivian. She was a hard working and very involved in her church in the Hammock. We have lost a great person. Prayers to the family and may her daughter and grand baby recover quickly.

  7. tulip says:

    Ms Lawless ran the red light for whatever reason and it was wrong and she killed someone and hurt others. She did all that damage and was uninjured. Where is the justice in that.

    Even though she will have to live with that for the rest of her life, I hope the law doesn’t just slap her on the wrist.

    My heartfelt sympathies to Diane Upton’s family and what an awful shame that the innocent ones always seem to get hurt the most in an accident caused by some one else.

    • Julia says:

      This report states that Mrs. Lawless was not injured while she is currently unable to have her own ROM due to injuries that occurred during the accident. Second of all no where does it state that all individuals in both cars had relations through out the years. Third off there was another individual that was in the car.

  8. Betsy says:

    Our prayers go out to the Upton’s and Ms Lawless. My Father was killed just a mile east of that intersection, same type of accident. (T Bone) I just happened to drive by after the accident and was able to pray. Haven’t stopped since. I feel their pain.

  9. Cat says:

    Cat, the story was reported last night without names. We do not publish names until the Florida Highway Patrol provides them to us. FHP does not release the names until next of kin is notified. The story was undated this morning with the names. Therefore, the names were not published before next of kin was notified. We’re sorry for your loss. ~FL

    Upton Family is a wonderful family and my heart is broken. I find it even more tragic this was printed when the husband (father&grandfather) hadn’t even been notified. What happened to notifying kin before printing the article with their names? I’m praying he didn’t read it in the paper first. I know cause he was camping with my husband.

    • Christina says:

      That is what happened. Vivieans’s father (my brother) found out on the Internet. That’s rediculous. The important thing is that the baby is ok. <3

  10. Anonymous says:

    Accidents happen and I’m sure the person at fault is very saddened and wishes it never would have happened. God has a plan for all of us. He needed more angels and called a loved one home. The red light cameras do keep everyone tensed up and in hurried fashion hoping that by hurrying it wont suddenly chante and catch ya to get a ticket in the mail. I agree, they need to go and the delay between yellow and red needs to be a minimum of 7 seconds on all lights.

  11. Chris Marchese says:

    My sincerest condolences to the Upton family. May God continue to keep them near during this most difficult time. I do not know the family, but any tragedy such as this, God wants us to stay together and pray.

  12. Linda Game says:

    I am so saddened by this. My heart goes to all who loved her. She grew up in Horseheads NY and all who knew her loved her. She was a wonderful person.

  13. Informed Resident says:

    Why is it that ever time there is an accident, someone has to blame it on the red light cameras? How about people start taking responsibility for their driving skills? If someone feels uncomfortable about what to do at an intersection then maybe they should go take some driving lessons. And by the way, there is no camera at that intersection.
    My thoughts go out to the Upton Family for their loss and best wishes for a full recovery to those who were injured.

  14. Julia says:

    How fast was the Camry going ? Every time I’m on Rt 100 I get in the right hand lane and do 45. The speed limit posted is TOO FAST for the amount of lights and intersections on that road. I have seen over 50 accidents in 20 years on that road, including one I was in when some a**hole slammed into 4 cars behind me and everyone hit the next person in front of them. I watched the SOB throw beer cans out of his car into a ditch before police came. When we told the police about it, they said “Don’t worry about it, get back in your car”. Obviously the SOB was someone whom the police knew and protected.

  15. Original Floridian says:

    Prayers to the Upton family and a speedy and full recovery to the daughter and granddaughter. I also pray that “texting’ was not the cause of this accident since no mention of it. God has chosen another Angel.

  16. Billiejo says:

    Diane I will miss you so much :( you were an amazing person and I loved hanging out with you. I’m so sorry this had to happen to you. I really am. Rip <3 you'll never be forgoten

  17. Vanessa says:

    This pisses me off! This wasn’t an ‘accident’, rather than another negligent driver in Palm Coast. We’ve been here two years and have never witnessed more selfish, irresponsible driving. And it figures that the one who caused it was uninjured. Now this family has to endure all of this heartache. People need to learn from this and PAY ATTENTION.

  18. Cindy L. says:

    Diane was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother & dear friend. Daughter & Granddaughter are home with their father and grandfather and are physically well. Diane and her family are loved by many.
    Praying for all the family & church family during this time of loss.

  19. Maxwel says:

    I know both parties involved in this accident, the girl in the Camry and the Upton family. I’m sure everyone must be heartbroken. There is no way any of these people did this on purpose. I hope Kalyn and the baby have a speedy recovery. Diane you will never be forgotten.

  20. Cindy L. says:

    Memorial Service for Diane will be Friday, Oct 24th, 6:00 pm at
    Hammock 1st Baptist Church
    5328 N Oceanshore Blvd. Palm Coast.

  21. Pam Anzalone says:

    Diane will be missed greatly. Her smile, her laughter, just fun times talking to her. We all have a hope of seeing her again in a better system of life. Prayer to all the friends and family.

  22. markingthedays says:

    Just coming back here to read this article and am still surprised by how many people blame red light cameras for this accident. As if, somehow, red light cameras encourage negligent driving.

  23. Gerald Jacobs says:

    One hour before she was DWI and the cops let her go, because she was friends with a cop. So very sad..

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