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Bunnell’s Faith Foust, 22, Killed, Boy Critical, Infant Saved in Head-On Crash on South Old Dixie

| January 2, 2015

The front of the Ford pick-up truck, on its side, with the car it struck as it ended up in the ditch on Old Dixie Highway. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The front of the Ford pick-up truck, on its side, with the car it struck as it ended up in the ditch on Old Dixie Highway. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: Saturday, 8:19 a.m.

Faith Christian Foust, 22, of Bunnell, was killed and four people injured, two of them children, in a two-vehicle, head-on wreck on South Old Dixie Highway near St. Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery later Friday afternoon.

The wreck took place just after 4 p.m. on a straight stretch of the two-lane highway, involving a white Ford F-350 pick-up truck with oversize wheels and a white Jeep Cherokee that, in the immediate aftermath of the crash, was too severely damaged to be clearly identified.

The pick-up and the Jeep collided head-on, catapulting the Jeep into a watery ditch on the west side of the road. The pick-up ended up on its side, straddling the width of the road.

A neighbor who’d been sitting on his porch heard the crash. “No horns, no skidding, nothing,” the man said. “Just BAM, really loud.”

Foust was driving the Jeep. She was killed. Her son, about 3, was in the back seat, next her daughter, who’s about 1. Flagler County Fire Rescue paramedics worked on the boy for 15 to 20 minutes before transporting him to a helicopter, which evacuated the boy to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach. He was later taken to a critical care unit at Ormond Memorial.

Jennifer Altamirano, a 39-year-old resident of Palm Coast, was driving by with her mother and, before paramedics arrived, rescued the 1-year-old girl by crawling through the shattered rear window of the car and pulling out the child, after hearing her scream.

Roberto C. Mcleskey, 22, of Gainesville, was at the wheel of the F350, with passenger Carlee Rae Bruno, 20, of Ormond Beach. They were were transported to Florida Hospital Flagler with minor injuries. According to FHP, Mcleskey was going east, Foust was going west.

Faith Foust in an image from her Facebook page, where she described herself as a 'full-time Mom.'

Faith Foust in an image from her Facebook page, where she described herself as a ‘full-time Mom.’

“Both vehicles collided head-on in the drivers’ apparent attempt to avoid a collision with each other,” FHP’s crash report states. “The preliminary investigation indicates that [Mcleskey] had overcorrected, to prevent from leaving the roadway, into the westbound lane and was returning to the eastbound lane as [Foust] entered the eastbound lane from the westbound lane as part of an evasive maneuver.”

“My friend passed away a couple of weeks ago, we were trying to find the church to talk to the people of when the funeral is tomorrow,” Joann Lee, Altamirano’s mother, said. Lee was driving as the pair happened by the wreck. They had driven by the very spot of the wreck only moments earlier in their search. “It would have been us, basically. We missed it by, like, seconds,” Lee said.

“When we came up, we thought it was a tractor trailer and the cab,” Lee said. The scene of the wreck even from a short distance looks as if the car in the ditch were a truck’s severed cab.

“The car was smoking, the baby was screaming, my daughter flew out of the car and ran down there,” Lee said. “There was a retired EMT there, he couldn’t get into the vehicle, and no one else wanted to climb in, so she just dove in the water, jumped in the car and grabbed the baby. We thought the little boy was dead, and we were telling them on the phone, we have two dead, the mother and the little boy, but then my daughter heard the little boy moan and breathe and then I saw him move and I screamed ‘He’s alive, tell them to get here!,’ you know.”

Lee described the sedan as having its whole engine come up, obliterating the front seat area. So the boy was “basically looking like he was in the front seat, and he was pinned in, we couldn’t get him out, we tried, we couldn’t get the door, we couldn’t do anything to get him out, but then finally the fire department came and took him out with the Jaws of Life. He was not in good shape.”

The youngest child was behind the woman, who Lee presumed was the children’s mother.

“I heard the baby from here, sitting here,” Altamirano said, as she sat in her car, some 50 yards away from the wreck scene, still trying to calm her nerves almost an hour after the wreck. “I heard the baby screaming. I just jumped out. When I hear a baby crying, obviously something is wrong when I see that so I ran over there,” and jumped in as instinct took over. She heard the little boy gasp, “so I knew the little boy was still alive, I just couldn’t get him out of the thing.” Altamirano paused, shaken again by her inability to get to the boy.

“I wasn’t really thinking. I was not thinking. I was just trying to get that baby out of there, and hopefully get the little boy out. That’s what I wanted to do,” Altamirano, who is a mother herself, said.

On her Facebook page, Foust described herself as a “full-time Mom” who had just started nursing studies at Daytona State College.

A handgun was among the possessions authorities later recovered from inside the truck. John’s Towing removed both vehicles and had them both towed from the scene by 8 p.m., when South Old Dixie re-opened to traffic.

The Ford pick-up straddled the width of South Old Dixie Highway. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The Ford pick-up straddled the width of South Old Dixie Highway. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The car. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The car. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

By the side of the road. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

By the side of the road. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The wreck took place just south of the Carmelite monastery road. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The wreck took place just south of the Carmelite monastery road. Click on the image for larger view. (c FlaglerLive)

The Ford F350 after it was righted. The man to the left is John Rogers, who supervised his company's (John's Towing) removal of the wreckage. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The Ford F350 after it was righted. The man to the left is John Rogers, who supervised his company’s (John’s Towing) removal of the wreckage. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The front of the F350. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

The front of the F350. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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63 Responses for “Bunnell’s Faith Foust, 22, Killed, Boy Critical, Infant Saved in Head-On Crash on South Old Dixie”

  1. jurgen Gerhard says:

    Is that Korona ??

  2. eileen says:

    You were in the right place at the right time Jennifer. God bless you for helping these children. Please do a follow up story on the children.

  3. Outsider says:

    Geez, look at the beer bottles. Great…hope your party was worth it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The beer bottles could be from any night everyone throws bottles and cans in the bed of their truck and leave them there you can’t assume

  4. Paul says:

    Jennifer Altamirano is a HERO and deserves a MEDAL. Pray the little boy pulls thru.

    • jade medders says:

      Thank you for being the angel you are… you have a special place in our families hearts. My nephew is at Arnold Palmer and is going to pull through. We would love to get in touch with you. Your a very amazing person to us all

  5. McCabe Family says:

    So tragic. Please pray for this family. A mother gone and leaving little ones behind. Our heart goes out to this family. This is any mother’s worst nightmare, to leave her babies behind. So sad. Prayer for the husband/ father also.

  6. Will says:

    Good work Jennifer Altamirano. You’re to be commended for having a cool head and warm heart.

  7. Jack says:

    There’s no way either one of those vehicles was doing the posted 35mph speed limit through there. Everyone speeds crazy down that road. Deputy was pulling over speeders the other day on that road. It’s a shame he wasn’t back today writing tickets. Maybe a 1 year old wouldn’t be motherless and brotherless. Slow down people and pay attention this could be your poor family! My prays go out to the ones involved

    • NortonSmitty says:

      35 MPHx2=70 MPH. Looks about right.

      • Anonymous says:

        nope 35mph x 2 still equals 35 mph headon

        • Leah says:

          Actually, head-on is double the speed they were going. Nortonsmitty was correct.

        • Shayna says:

          No it doesn’t. Physics 101.

          • Outsider says:

            Don’t argue with Norton…..two vehicles approaching each other head on at 35 MPH is the equivalent of one vehicle hitting something at 70.


            My thoughts and prayers to all involved.

            • Jax says:

              Incorrect. There is 70 total MPH of energy. If 2 vehicles of equal weight collided with each other, then it’s equivalent for each to be hitting a solid brick wall at 35 mph. 70mph of total energy, 35 to each vehicle. Now in this case the heavy truck would absorb probably 20mph since it’s excessively heavy and pointless, and the other lighter vehicle would feel about 50mph of energy. The lifted suspension should be outright illegal.. It solves 0 purpose, makes the truck more dangerous for the driver and everyone else on the road, not Even considering the view blocking and lack of maneuverability. Get those killers off the road.

    • barbie says:

      So much speeding goes on around here. What is the hurry, people? Whether that was the cause here or not, it’s still a point to be taken. SLOW DOWN.

    • Friend says:

      The 9 month old is doing good and her brother is in the hospital for a week or so.

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Amen Jack….Thank u… SLOW DOWN PEOPLE.

  8. The Truth says:

    What a sad and horrible way to start a new year for many families. I hope there was no alcohol involved but the broken bottles on the ground next to the truck have me thinking otherwise.

    Ms. Altamirano is a hero and I thank her for her heroic actions to save those young children. You were at the right place and at the right time and you saved multiple lives. Thank you.

  9. tulip says:

    They wouldn’t have had to be speeding. The trucks out there and the suv’s with the big oversize tires can hit a sedan and completely destroy it and kill the driver. I have a sedan and I’ve had one of those oversize tire vehicles parked in the parking lot right in front of me so our vehicles were front to front. That truck was so high that his hood and engine are would go right through my front window. They should not be allowed on the road. Someone that drives that type of vehicle gets a sense of security and doesn’t drive as carefully because they are bigger. Unfortunately the little sedan driver gets killed.

    I noticed the beer and read about the gun. The driver is 22. Draw your own conclusion.

    Both vehicles could be going to fast, although generally a mom with kids in the car is more careful. He could’ve been drinking, she could’ve been texting. Anyway, isn’t it a traffic violation if a person has open bottles or cans of beer or alcohol in the car?

    • Pericles Xanthippou says:

      Exactly as ‘tulip’ says: none of us was there; none can know what caused this terrible crash. Much credit to Mrs. Altamirano for diving in in the best American spirit.

      The fact is that the robustness of automobiles — especially those generally classed as ‘utility vehicles’ (pick-ups, people carriers &c.) — gives rise to the well known phenomenon of ‘risk compensation’: a tendency to increase the risk taken to compensate for the perceived increase in safety accorded by improvements to environment, such as the vehicle or highway engineering.

      I have long maintained — although, for perhaps obvious reasons, have not had the opportunity to prove — that a great reduction in road crashes and casualties would result from furnishing every vehicle’s steering-wheel boss with a six-inch steel spike!


    • sorrysomeonehastosayit says:

      What does having a gun have to do with it in anyway? He likes to protect himself legally, so what? The world around us is hostile and we all take steps to secure ourselves and our loved ones in it.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      If the empties or opens were in the bed of the truck and out of reach of the occupants of the cab, I believe it is not illegal.

  10. crystal says:

    r.i.p faith foust… does it really matter how it happened???? it happened and guess what, no one can take it back or replace this.. this is so very sad. she was a close family friend of ours and now she just disappears… i am really sorry to faith and her family.. i loved her. she was great.. but now god has her.. i dont know what else to say… </3 i am blown away by this… i really am

  11. Anonymous says:

    For all of your information and this absolutely ridiculous media post for taking a picture of the beer bottles, both of the young kids who were driving the truck were not drinking and not intoxicated at all. Everyone needs to stop assuming and just be thankful that not everyone was harmed. Yes it is a very tragic and terrible accident, but it was all an ACCIDENT. No one planned for this to happen and everyone that was involved was effected in some way. Don’t believe everything the media says and just be thankful for every day you have and don’t take anything for granted. I thank god my friends are safe and I send condolences to the other family. I am a mother of a one year old and I can’t even comprehend how this will effect the children that lost their mother. So to wrap this up, let’s not make this worse than it already is and just send your prayers to everyone involved.

  12. happy holidays says:

    why drive around in a 15 foot tall truck? your only gonna kill and hurt people in normal ride height vehicle….

  13. confidential says:

    Altamirano’s description of this tragedy brought almost tears to my eyes…There are not enough words to Thank You for your bravery to rescue that baby…and try so hard for the seriously injured one year old.
    Loss of precious life and devastating injuries to a child for a a 22 year old and his beers while driving…

  14. Respect says:

    Has anyone stopped to think that maybe the beer bottles came out of the bed of his truck? We should jump to conclusions until the investigation is done. Pray for those babies who are without a momma now. Pray for the driver of the truck who has to love with this. Everyone is quick to point the finger.

  15. Rockee says:

    First, my sincere condolences goes out to the family and friends of Ms Foust.

    Second; Why does this state allow such huge tires on a motor vehicle. There is absolutely no reason to have those tires on any road vehicle. There needs to be a size limitation. This doesn’t mean this caused the accident but certainly didn’t help prevent it either.

    Third, the speed limit there is 35 MPH, not 65 as I’ve personally seen a lot of cars and trucks wiz pass me on that road.

    Accidents like this sickens me because there is no excuse for this to have happened.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It truely annoys me that something SO incredibly tragic has occurred and all you people have to talk about is the beer bottles and the gun! Neither of the two are illegal. Also, why is it assumed that anyone was drinking and driving or that there were open containers? They could’ve just purchased those! Seeing what the cars look like do you really think the bottles would’ve been unopened and in tact?? Jesus Christ bless this family with strength to get through this tragic time, place a healing hand in the wounded, and guide these children in the right direction!!!

  17. jenn says:

    Faith I can’t believe u are gone….I’m just lost for words I miss u already I’m praying for ur family I love u and I’ll c u up there soon girly

  18. Wendy Gernert says:

    To the Foust, Peters, Hosford, and McKelvin families: I am sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful, spunky, and caring person. Rest in peace Faith. You will be greatly missed by many.

    Thank you Ms. Altamirano for your quick thinking and saving the lives of Faith’s children.

  19. Bethany says:

    Just so everyone knows. There was no beer involved. The beer was in the back of his truck. They did a drug and alcohol test… Waiting for the results. So before you start point fingers learn the facts. Age doesn’t matter nor does the fact that a gun was there. I have been cans in the bed of truck as well that people throw in the back at parties or bonfire or whatever.

  20. Wishful thinking says:

    In honor of that beautiful innocent full time mom let’s all lobby our local state and Federal officials to make those dangerous oversize tires ILLEGAL for starters . And insist Flagler county have double yellow lines painted the entire stretch from I-95 to US1 to prohibit passing anywhere on this hee haw dangerous stretch. That is the least we can do to show that we as a community care and don’t want this to happen again

    • bre says:

      ILLEGAL? I think that’s a little dramatic. Oversized tires are not the cause of this. Lack of paying attention is. How do you figure that his TIRES were the cause of the issue? And like others before you have commented.. it makes the truck bigger?? Is that a problem? So Maybe next we should BAN Semi’s because they are TOO large for our roadways and they can kill someone if they have impact. Holy Shit these are some stupid comments. HOW ABOUT instead of laying blame on WHATEVER it is we can grasp at, we just pray for this poor family who is now without their mother, wife, daughter, sister and/or friend. No amount of the blame game is going to bring her back. And that’s not fair, but it’s the truth. Beer bottles? I’d sooner blame texting and driving then alcohol. NO ONE will truly know what happened other than the people involved. Lets leave it up to the authorities to point the fingers. These young adults NOW have to live with the idea that they were involved in an accident that took away a mother. I couldn’t even FATHOM how that would make me feel. Could you?

  21. Daisy says:

    The fact that the open containers were found on the ground have nothing to do with anything at all, I have a truck and people or I throw empty cans in the bed all the time; it doesn’t mean he was drinking it surely doesn’t call for the “hope it was worth it comment” the driver of the truck is gonna need some serious help and the a holes making like it was his fault aren’t helping anything at all, if you read the article and fhp report SHE the woman driving the jeep came into the trucks lane, so therefor it wasn’t his fault, driving a lifted truck plays no factor in it at all either, in fact it probably saved the kids in the back from being with their mother because all the force went into the axles and not the weight of the truck going into the jeep, for anyone who disagrees please show me some kind of proof to your assumptions, have a nice day

    • anonymous says:

      Why not leave the fault to the investigators.

    • Will says:

      Daisy, I read the article that yes, the lady came into the truck’s lane to avoid the truck which was in her lane. Maybe it’s a bit to early to be so sure of circumstances – and what did or didn’t happen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Daisy it nowhere says she went into his lane. It says he tried to correct himself going off the road so instead of just going off the road he went into her lane. This could of ended with noone killed or hurt. He should be charged with reckless driving! R.i.p Faith

  22. Anonymous says:

    All I can say is god put me and my mom there at the right time and I’m so sorry for the family and friends we’ve been praying for everyone.

  23. TULIP says:

    I totally agree with Wishful Thinking’s post about making oversize tires illegal! The paint stripes is an excellent idea also.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rip faith.. It dosent matter about oversize or it been lifted I see yall of u say stuff but it has nothing to do about the big tire or it being lifted its all about the driver of it and how u drive it have over size tire is a hell of a lot better any street ties that everone on there cars and suv them oversize tire give u a lot more traction then them tire talk have . But it has nothing at all to do with big tires or it being lifted like I sad it’s about the driver and how he drives the truck??

  24. Duke says:

    I believe the jackass driver of the truck was just involved in another major accident just last month…

    • K says:

      He was, almost died in that one. Apparently he didnt learn his lesson the first time and now killed an innocent women and ripped her family apart. I hope he and the GF are punished for this.

  25. Anon says:

    Daisy, why was she in the trucks lane? Because he was in her lane over correcting himself. She was evading him.

  26. Anna says:

    Daisy nowhere does it say she went into his lane…. he tried correcting himself of going off the road and went into her lane and hit her he should be charged with reckless driving! Cant handle a big truck then he shouldnt be driving one

    • just me says:

      Well actually it does say
      “Both vehicles collided head-on in the drivers’ apparent attempt to avoid a collision with each other,” FHP’s crash report states. “The preliminary investigation indicates that [Mcleskey] had overcorrected, to prevent from leaving the roadway, into the westbound lane and was returning to the eastbound lane as [Foust] entered the eastbound lane from the westbound lane as part of an evasive maneuver.”

  27. Anonymous says:

    Having big tires or a lifted truck is absolutely not a factor in this accident. You people are just looking for something to blame. Over correcting has been the cause of many, many accidents, like how it is in this one, and that is completely independent from the size of the vehicle or its tires. This was a deadly accident in its own nature, and if anything I would be thankful for the size of the vehicle possibly saving the lives of Carlee and Roberto. One death is unfortunate enough.

    • anon says:

      Well if they were paying attention to the road maybe he wouldnt have to overcorrect. I feel so bad for the children who have lost a mother because some people decided to be morons on the road. I am disgusted with these two.

  28. Lisa says:

    Praying for the families involved. Thank God you were there at that exact time and for giving you the strength to do what you did, THANK YOU! So sad to lose such a young life.
    It was an accident he did not do this on purpose and any vehicle could have cause the same results but it would have been more heavily damaged then the truck. He will have to live with this the ready of his life, thinking what could I have done to of prevented it. You see people die in crashes from all kinds of vehicles so that is stupid to try to ban lifted (big tired) trucks.

  29. Michael says:

    The kinetic energy of two vehicles colliding head on is capable of a tremendous amount of damage, especially when one is raised up. Looking at the picture the Ford was raised up; this helped the ford but not the Jeep. The Ford was able to clear the Jeeps frame, once above the frame the Ford became a plow, pushing the engine and transmission back through the firewall into the passenger compartment. Vehicles are built with crumple zones but only when they hit equally, the Ford has much less structural damage but more under carriage because it actually rode up over the Jeep. I have investigated many accidents and seen my share of fatalities; they never get any easier. The only thing we should be doing here instead of arguing about why or how it happened is to offer condolences to all involved.

  30. Concerned Citizen says:

    This such a tragic situation of an accident. People are so quick to judge one another. The thing to do is PRAY for the little children who has to grow up without a mother. U don’t know the pain that they are going to have to deal with in life as they grow up without her, and they are going to have a lot of questions…I know, because my niece and nephew grew up without their mother when she was killed and they were small kids too….Pray for them, God will do the rest..

  31. Nikia says:

    Faith and prayer are so relevant in the world now and forever. I hold all involved close to my heart. Even the survivors are going to have to live with this forever. May the Lord be with them for healing and strength.

    • Anonymous says:

      R.I.P. Faith Foust…Love Always (Grace Cazella) and you’r 2nd family the Cazella’s. We love you Faith!!! (Missing you)

  32. David S. says:

    God bless Faith and her family what a tragic loss PHP will conduct a full investigation including blood tests etc… I only which I was there to help we need more people like Jenniffer to jump in when the time is needed to do so.To survive an accident with this impact is difficult but not impossible I have seen thousands like this occur .Drinking,drugs cellphone,not paying attention you name it.

  33. Jackson says:

    Dude, if you think not having big tires and a lift kit had nothing to do with the fatalities, then you are massively misinformed. If that truck were at the normal ride height, it would have better engaged the crumple zone of the standard Car/SUV. They now design trucks and SUVs now to have a lower structure underneath to be more crash compatible with cars and prevent things like override, and engage the energy absorbing stronger parts of the lower vehicle. In the case of this jacked up BRO DOZER, the frame impacted the body and effectively bypassed all energy absorbing structural members of the lower SUV. The weight of the vehicle is a whole different matter. They are already dangerous as it is because of the weight differential, but lifting them up only compounds that danger exponentially. I’d rather be T-boned by a Semi at 30 mph than a lifted truck. At least the Semi has normal height bumpers that would contact the FRAME of my sedan instead of bashing through my side windows and hitting me right in the head. Lift kits should be illegal on the road. If you want to use it off road? Fine. But those tires and lift kits better not touch the roads my family, friends, or myself drive on. I pay taxes for the roads YOU and THEY use, and for that I expect a safe place to travel. All vehicles on the road are required to have taillights and turn signals, I don’t see how bumper height is any different. Passenger cars are already regulated for this and have been for decades! It’s high time the same applies to trucks. State laws already do exist, but it needs to be federal at this point.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Jennifer for all your help..just wanted to let everyone to know the boy is doing Awsome he is 6 now and the baby girl is doing Awsome she is 3 now..

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