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2 Teens Among Four Killed, 3 Injured, “Multiple Ejections” in I-95 Wreck Just South of Flagler-St. Johns County Line

| May 7, 2016

Three emergency helicopters responded to the scene at I-95's Mile Marker 295, near the Matanzas Parkways interchange, after the 2 p.m. wreck. (c Joshua Counts for FlaglerLive)

Three emergency helicopters responded to the scene at I-95’s Mile Marker 295, near the Matanzas Parkways interchange, after the 2 p.m. wreck. (c Joshua Counts for FlaglerLive)

Last Updated: May 14.

The year’s deadliest crash in Flagler County killed three people and injured four just after 2 p.m. in the northbound lanes of I-95, north of the newly-opened Matanzas Woods Parkways interchange. The victims are from Immokalee.

The wreck briefly shut down I-95 in both directions. I-95 northbound remained closed north of the Matanzas Woods interchange for two hours, causing traffic to back up for several miles south of the wreck. One lane reopened around 4 p.m.

The crash, involving a vehicle that rolled over into the wood-line, on the east side of the highway, drew the response of three emergency helicopters, including Flagler County Fire Flight, Volusia County’s Air One, and St. Johns County’s Trauma One out of St. Augustine. The helicopters landed and took off from the highway.

Officials initially reported two deaths. Later in the afternoon, a Florida Highway Patrol official in Jacksonville confirmed that a third victim had died. On May 10, FHP reported a fourth fatality.

Those who died were Roberto V. Morales, 19, Vigai Lopez Roblero, 22, Adonias Gonzalez Vasquez, 17, and Maribel Velasquez Perez, 25. Morales was not wearing a seat belt. FHP could not determine if Roblero or Vasquez were wearing a seat belt.

Mario Lopez Roblero, 25, was in critical condition. He was wearing a seat belt.

One of the victims injured is a 4-year-old child, Flagler County Fire Chief Don Petito said shortly after the crash. The age of the second victim who died has not been determined. But of the seven victims, two are young adults and five are children, Petito said.

The Florida Highway Patrol Sunday morning issued a release listing the ages of two of the victims who died as a 19-year-old man and a 22-year-old man. The third victim was not given an age. The two victims in critical conditions are a 25-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman.

The release adds some details about the origin of the crash: the Immokalee residents were riding in a 2002 Ford Explorer, heading north on I-95. Lonnie Grant, a 66-year-old resident of Varnville, S.C., was also heading north, driving a Ford F-150. The two cars attempted to merge into the highway’s center lane at the same time, in the same zone, according to a witness. Grant veered back to the outside lane. The driver of the Ford Explorer veered off to the right, but overcorrected, causing the car to flip several times.

Two of the three helicopters transported one victim each, in critical condition: Fire Flight transported one victim to Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, Trauma One transported one victim to Shands hospital in Gainesville. “The third helicopter may have landed but did not transport,” Petito said, explaining that there are times when an air transport of a patient is scrubbed because of that patient’s particular condition.

Two additional victims were taken to Halifax by ground, and one victim was taken to a trauma center in St. Johns County. (An FHP official in late afternoon reported that four victims had been “life-flighted out.” Conflicting reports of victims’ mode of transport to hospitals are not uncommon at crash scenes with numerous injuries.)

“It’s pretty horrific,” Petito said.

A witness told authorities that the vehicle flipped five times before ending up on its roof.

An emergency responder described the crash as causing “multiple ejections” of individuals from their vehicles. Later, it was confirmed that two victims were ejected, one of them a 5-year-old boy, who suffered severe head trauma. The other was a juvenile.

Officials at the scene are still in the early stages of gathering information. It’s not yet known whether the vehicle is from Flagler or from elsewhere.

Emergency responders from Palm Coast, Flagler County and St. Johns County are at the scene, which is just south of the Old Kings Road overpass, and well north of the Matanzas Woods interchange.

I-95’s northbound lanes reopened to normal traffic at 6:45 p.m. Saturday. FHP’s release on the crash is here.

I95-wreck

The wreck involved just one vehicle, which rolled over into the woods. (c Joshua Counts for FlaglerLive)

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33 Responses for “2 Teens Among Four Killed, 3 Injured, “Multiple Ejections” in I-95 Wreck Just South of Flagler-St. Johns County Line”

  1. Bc. says:

    When will folks learn to were there set belts. Sorry to the family’s who lost a loved one and a speedy recovery to the ones who were hurt.

  2. Av8her says:

    Traffic at a standstill on i95 at palm coast exit by palm coast parkway. We used to live here so we along with many other cars detouring old kings to us 1 where it’s also backed up. We saw two ambulances about 10mins ago headed to daytona. Prayers for the families of those involved. Stay safe out there!

  3. Carol says:

    That is sad news. My prayers to all involved

  4. Geezer says:

    Live life to the fullest–give up hating people who are different or have a
    different political viewpoint. Stop to smell the roses, for tomorrow may
    never come. In a split-second you can lose your precious life.
    We have one thing in common: frailty. So, be kind to your neighbor.

    My sympathies to all involved in this terrible event.

  5. Anonymous says:

    How tragic! I pray for the people who are affected by this horrible event and ask that you pray too. This is so heart breaking.

  6. K says:

    So incredibly sad. Praying for the people involved and all the first responders that tried to help. Hold your loved ones close, tomorrow is never promised to anyone.

  7. Nancy N. says:

    We got on I-95 SB at Matanzas at around 3pm. Traffic NB was being directed off at the Matanzas exit. Matanzas was a solid line of traffic headed WB to Belle Terre. Lots of cars were getting off of SB I-95 at Matanzas as well – the ramp was backed up solid – but there was virtually no one down on the freeway itself. I’m guessing that the freeway SB was closed at that point and the traffic we saw was people who had turned around through the median and headed back south, because it seemed EVERYONE was getting off SB at Matanzas and heading toward US1.

    Is this the first test of the Matanzas exit being used to close I-95? I’m thinking it might be? Matanzas and that bridge looked awful small with all of I-95 on it. Yikes.

  8. melissa says:

    I think everybody needs to stop with the assumptions of what happened in this accident you weren’t there you were not in the vehicle you don’t know who was wearing seatbelts and who is not so to make an assumption that someone was not wearing a seatbelt is wrong sometimes seat belts fail to work everybody needs to send prayers for this family instead of trying to put negative s*** out there for people to read it’s people like you posting stupid stuff like that that spread rumors that are untrue in news feed media say a prayer voicing your opinions it’s not the place nor the time there was children that were involved in this accident and that we should be praying for their families and themselves instead of being worried about how people are doing things in their personal lives what may or may not have happened as if no one’s concern but the families them selfs

  9. someoneintheknow says:

    That has to be the dumbest saying ever. ” Live life to the fullest”

  10. Ciarrah says:

    Does anyone know if they are locals ? And who the family is

  11. PalmCoastresident says:

    Let us get the facts before assuming seat belts were not utilized. Seat belts have been known to break, tear, or even the hardware used to secure them into the vehicle has failed leading to an ejection. I have also heard of a car seat cutting the actual seat belt and the car seat with the passenger attached to the seat get ejected. There is also the possibility of a person who doesn’t fit the exact parameters of the seat belt size slipping out of the lap/shoulder belt and due to centrifugal force, they end up outside of the vehicle.

    Until that determination has been made, lets not jump to conclusions.

  12. Anonymous says:

    We were at a standstill in the traffic for almost two hours. I’m praying for the victims.

  13. Carolyn Berry says:

    We were about 1/4 mile from the wreck driving to Yulee, FL and my husband saw the car flip over and over, dirt flying everywhere. We stopped to try to help and the sheriff department wanted to talk to him because he was a witness to the accident. It was a horrible scene. We pray for those that didn’t live and pray for those taken to the hospital. There was only one that we knew was sitting up with a broken leg. All the others where either dead or in critical condition. It was a very sad day and why people should wear seat belts. The driver was trying to come over into the middle lane and flipped the car but he had to be speeding for all those people that were ejected out of the car. So make every moment count in your life because you never know what the next moment is going to bring. God be with those families that lost there love ones and with the ones in the hospitals..

  14. Sherry says:

    Very sage and kind words, Geezer!

    We all need to move away from those that try to divide us at every turn. We need to refuse to allow hate and fear in our lives, and remember to embrace and love our neighbors as ourselves. Life is extremely short and all humans extremely fragile. Learn and Love! Prayers and Peace!

  15. Rich H. says:

    Having the Matanzas exit has proven in this situation that traffic can be re-routed much quicker and reduce the traffic backup time

  16. Mb says:

    I was 20 cars back from the wreck. Very tragic, just wanted to say kudos to the 1st responders who arrived quickly and did an amazing job at redirecting traffic so quickly and efficiently. I was impressed.

  17. Charlotte C. says:

    It was truly a horrific scene. Although I didn’t see the accident as it happened, I came upon it only seconds after it happened and pulled over to help. I came across the small 5 year old boy who had been ejected. I was relieved to see that he was alive! I dared not move him in case there were spinal injuries, so I tried to help comfort him and keep him still until the EMTs arrive. I am thankful for the other woman and gentleman that joined me as we waited for what felt like an eternity (though I’m sure it was only a few minutes) for the EMTs.

    Please continue to pray for this family as they fight for their lives, and the heartache they will face as they learn of the loss of their loved ones.

  18. Edward Duquette says:

    Going south north of this horror about 2 something SUDDENLY traffic came to a halt nearly causing collisions!
    I was very nervous for a moment as i looked in my rear view hoping there would not be a rear end chain of vehicles crashing. Then we sat for a minute and the traffic crawled for some time about 10 mph.

    Eventually we were near the flashing lights….the feeling was powerfully grim. I saw the wheels up in the brush and then a blanket over a body in the middle lane…officers walking around. The cause for the delay on the southbound lane seemed to be rubber-necking at the site. It may seem secondary to the police but getting southbound moving may have reduced the risks caused by the slow drivers moving at a walking speed at the scene. The shock of the aftermath caused the southbound traffic to pace at 65 mph, below the limit.

    All highways are a risk. This accident show how vulnerable we all are. I know a retired cop who teaches highway driving with a driving school for corporate sales people. Over steer is a key part to that course.
    With higher speeds, regardless of technical advances driver skills may be something to consider tested for the highway speed. I find the fast lane usually pushed by drivers to 85, 90 or more by clusters of drivers.

    Maybe 65mph max, tickets at 75mph adjustment the traffic demonstrated upon this viewing this tragic reality check?

    Without actual highway incident skill training these speeds can be lethal to untrained. We get our licenses without this type of training as this wreck so tragically illustrates. Perhaps another adjustment to consider for the process of our own survival on our high speed roads in our country?

    Sincere sympathy to all involved, I hope those survivors recover quickly to live a full life, the deceased RIP and be remembered for all their good deeds.

    Again, consider we all may need the same training as a trooper for highway driving. Not just for ourselves but for all as we must consider safety issues we are not currently being evaluated.

    Ed
    Daytona Beach

  19. Melanie S says:

    My mother was driving on I-95N and was the among the first motorists to render assistance to the family involved in this horrific crash. My mother sat with a little boy for 30 minutes or so while waiting for emergency officials. I am so proud of my mom. My heart breaks for the families involved. I do want to point out that had seat belts been worn this tragedy might have ended differently. Just sayin….

  20. Ken Dodge says:

    Heartfelt thanks to FlaglerLive for solid coverage and reporting of this sad event. Also for the updates as they became available. You are a valuable resource to our community.

  21. Jones says:

    I am not understanding why these people were not in seat belts, with one young life no longer with us I believe the surviving adults should be charged for his death in this accident esp if the child was not in a seat belt.

  22. Leslie says:

    I was heading towards Jacksonville and saw the vechicle overturned and 1 body on ground cover by a blue cover. Horrific sight. Prayers to the families.

  23. Kara S says:

    Bless you Melissa, you could not have stated it any more accurately!!
    My heart is broken for these families that will never be the same after yesterday.
    To be clear, one of the victims that perished onsite was wearing their seatbelt; it is unclear if any of the ejected victims were wearing theirs.
    I am saddened and heartsick that this is what people choose to post about instead of how can we help the survivors or their families.
    Kudos to the all of the first responders, off duty nurses, medical personnel that arrived to assist. You all were AMAZING!!

  24. Geezer says:

    someoneintheknow

    Thank you for enthralling us with your considerable acumen.
    A Bronx cheer for you!

  25. Lynette says:

    My heart is saddened. My family was heading to Daytona and witnessed the vehicle flipping and bodies flying out. I will never forget what I saw! My prayers are with this family.

  26. Chalcedony says:

    I feel like things like this happen a lot more these days because many drive way over the speed limit and very aggressively. Please slow down, don’t drive distracted, and just be careful on the roads. This is so sad.

  27. Kat says:

    What the hell is wrong with people. Maybe they did everything right and it was shit luck. Theybalready auffered the loss of a 5 yr old, but lets throw them in jail? What the fuck. You dont even know the whole story, but youre ready to penaliaze, cause thatll fuckin solve shit. My heart bleeds for that family that lost their baby.

  28. Sherry says:

    @someoneintheknow How very tragic and sad for you that your life is so tortured that you cannot appreciate living it to the fullest. Perhaps you should consider changing your handle. Are you really in the “know” about happy and healthy people? Peace be with you!

  29. David B says:

    The vehicle was over 14 years old. A vehicle that old is not safe for a high speed highway.

  30. Dave says:

    People need to understand that seat belts do save lives and speed kills. Talking and texting on a cell phone while driving kills, drinking while driving kills. But some people still ignore the rules and they will end up one day killing someone or themselves.

  31. Concerned says:

    We were about 30 cars back, stuck at a standstill for two hours. I’m thankful we didn’t see what was happening, we knew it had to be horrific. Prayers for the victims and their families.

  32. Rich H. says:

    A 14 year old car is very safe if maintained properly and all safety devices are in proper working condition.

  33. Anonymous says:

    if that is in fact a ford explorer….they do not have 3rd row seating—do the math

    sounds like people were sitting in the cargo area

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