A woman was killed this morning when she drove her car under a semi truck in the northbound lanes of I-95 just south of Matanzas Woods Parkway.
The victim was decapitated. The driver of the Volvo semi was not injured.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. The highway’s northbound lanes have been shut down between Palm Coast Parkway and Matanzas Woods Parkway, snarling traffic on I-95 south of Palm Coast Parkway.
The semi was in the center lane when the sedan rear-ended it just after 8:30 this morning, in full daylight and under clear conditions. A witness saw the crash unfold and immediately reported it to authorities.
Authorities have not yet issued a cause for the crash. But a witness who saw the crash take place described the context this way, in a comment on FlaglerLive’s Facebook page: “Traffic was slowing fast due to an earlier accident and they had the far left lane blocked off to merge. They should have had the cones and the merge sign farther back on 95 to give more notice!!! The previous tractor trailer was still in the guardrail and fire trucks and police were still at the earlier accident.”
The witness said traffic just ahead of the scene was stopped, suggesting that the semi was slowing down to prepare to stop. “I swear it was like watching a scene from a movie in my rear view mirror with debris just flying everywhere and cars screeching,” the witness continued. “I’m so sorry for the people involved and prayers go out to all who suffered in that.”
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was at the scene within minutes, as were the Palm Coast Fire Department, Flagler County Fire Rescue and units of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. An emergency helicopter was briefly placed on standby, but authorities pronounced the victim deceased at the scene. There appears to have been no other victims involved.
The crash is the third road fatality in Flagler, and the 28th this year, exceeding last year’s total by 11. This year’s toll on Flagler roads is the fourth heaviest in the last 22 years.
Authorities expected that segment of I-95 to remain closed for several hours.
Very very sad. RIP. Drivers pay attention, stop texting and driving and most of all stop speeding.
Yes RIP – The people in Palm Coast drive way to fast even on the side streets – the F section is one of the worst for drivers going way to fast. I try not to be on I95 around there anymore as they go by you about 100 miles and weaving in and out of the cars like nothing. PLEASE, PLEASE SLOW DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION…
erlinda house says
I totally agree!….I am almost 78 yrs.old.Frequently,when I drive on I-95, I stay on the middle lane and change lanes when I want to exit.At my speed of 75 MPH, Drivers blow their horns at me and cut me off to pass!! What’s the rush??Maybe they should fly their private planes!!.They endanger law abiding citizens! These areas should be patrolled for crazy drivers!!!
Linda Berry says
Concerned person says
Not all people text and drive. Not all people speed. You have people that lock up their brakes for no given reason. Then you got the people that weave in and out of traffic that cause the accident. Then some one else dies because of them and they go Scott free with nothing wrong with them. I see a lot of young driver do this. That is what sad! It happen everyday
Mary Fusco says
Concerned. If a driver has the appropriate space between them and the car in front of them, locking up breaks will never be a problem. i.e. if one is going 70 MPH, 7 car lengths are required between them and the car ahead of them. This is called defensive driving. Keeping their whole attention on the big picture in front of them is also a plus. Phone, coffee nor radios are of concern when one is driving. Weaving in and out of traffic is definitely a problem but distance takes care of this problem.
Glenn K says
Defensive driving around here LOL. All I see is very offensive inconsiderate driving. When Iam on 95 doing 75 the car behind me is usually 1/2 car length off my bumper.
I wish ppl used that rule of thumb, which is unrealistic in today’s day and age. I often find myself also a bit too close. IF I keep my distance, someone just comes along and fills in the gap anyways!
Mary Fusco says
Carl, I learned how to drive defensively over 50 years ago. If someone fills the space, I simply back off. Why is driving correctly unrealistic in this day and age? If people learned how to drive, put their devices away and pay attention, we would not have these horrific accidents. No excuse for most of them. I drove in NYC which is not for the faint of heart. I certainly don’t plan on dying because I am close enough to the guy in front of me to see him flossing his teeth. LOL.
Mrs Mary you could keep the most amount of safe distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, but that doesn’t always work. Someone else will gladly take that space and shorten your stopping distance. End result slamming on your brakes to avoid hitting the tool the took that space. 95% of drivers in Palm Coast are horrible drivers. Always in a rush to get to the next light or the next drive thru line!!! I think the state should require all licensed drivers to take a written driving exam ever time they renew their driver license. Refresh theier memory!! People around here fail to educate themselves on traffic laws. For example, someone riding a bicycle is required to follow traffic patterns as if it was a motor vehicle. Someone riding a bicycle on a crosswalk is not a pedestrian, motor vehicles are not required by state law to yield to them. Lets not forget merging, this is the biggest problem for 99% of drivers in the entire state. When your lane is merging in to oncoming traffic the lane ending is supposed to yield to oncoming traffic. Old Kings Rd in front of checkers is one of the worst, the right lane merges into the left lane, yet the left lane continues to have to yield to the clowns who don’t know they’re supposed to yield. The on ramp to 95 south from Palm Coast Parkway may be worse than Old Kings, seems like nobody can figure that out. I’m tired of slamming on my brakes to avoid wrecking my truck to avoid these non driving fools. Drivers education is sure enough lacking in the area… Drove to work this morning and passed a car on 95 the guy was on a tablet reading and driving. Passed a truck and the driver was on his phone with a beverage cup in the other hand driving with his knee. But maybe it’s not about drivers education maybe it just comes down to out right total disregard for others lives on the road.
I agree with the speeds being a factor here and not distancing properly. If you had the correct distance, you would have had a better chance to stop. This car is jammed underneath that tractor trailer pretty fair, unfortunately it appears she was not doing the speeds nor distancing.
Amen. Yes they drive way too fast, like wherever the place they are going is going to be gone or move away. PEOPLE NEED TO SLOW DOWN AND BE CONCERN OF THE NEXT PERSON DRIVING AND THEIR FAMILIES IF SONETHING HAPPENS. Ijs
I agree. Stop speeding. However, something needs to be done about I-95. It’s a death trap. They need way more cops on that highway.
I-75 and I-4 are far worse, my coworker actually took a pic of the car next to her on I-4 that had her laptop on her steering wheel !!! Crazy ass people
Carol M Vigilante says
My thoughts exactly 💯!Soo sad 😢
Dennis C Rathsam says
This another reason why ALL TRUCKS should stay in the right lane. Make it a law all over Fl. Dont you love it when they cut you off in the middle lane to pass another truck but they ride down the hyway blocking cars, causing more traffic. Then when they finally get enough speed to pass its miles down the road. I really think they get thier jollys, blocking cars.
Not the truck drivers fault in this case.
Deborah Coffey says
I agree completely. Had to drive to World Golf Village today from Palm Coast and saw this all the way there. It was a white-knuckle trip there and back.
Mary Fusco says
Dennis, you are funny. Cars get their jollies playing russian roulette with trucks. Trucks cannot stop on a dime. Years ago, my brother was an over the road truck driver. He was driving along when some POS cut right in front of him. In order to keep from killing the driver of the car, in a split second he drove his truck off the road. He damaged his truck significantly and could have been killed himself. His company had a policy that if the truck was damaged, they were terminated. As a result of saving this person’s life, he lost his job, his paycheck, his benefits, etc. Truck drivers are not out to block anything. They are on a mission. They have to drop a load or pick up a load. Drivers of cars, most of who shouldn’t be driving, think they are on the Daytona Speedway.
I agree with you Mary Fusco! I drive every day on I 95 you can stay 10 car length behind the car in front of you but you still have the idiot and crazy driver out there that will cut you off in a split second. I drive all the way to CR 210 which is exit 329 just before you get to Jacksonville. I say a prayer every time I get on I95 for god to keep me safe because I am on I95 for an hour one way!
Agree, ppl really need to learn to keep a huge distance from trucks and never close up a gap in front. They need a LOT of time to be able to stop, tons of weight. I don’t know how ppl do not understand this.
Nicole G says
Because they was not taught to share the road with truck drivers. But we teach future truckers to share the road with 4 wheelers. A loaded truck takes the length of a football field to stop vs a car can stop no problems. All people just need to drive safe.
Wow to put blame on Truckers is asinine! My father has been a over the road trucker all his life and the horror stories he has told, the horrible situations he has been in himself & 9 times out of 10 it was because of an idiot CAR driver! And most of the time it’s cars trying to get around a truck! It takes a trucker 10x harder to slam on brakes to avoid an accident! And my father has avoided plenty yet has been in 5 accidents in over 40yrs! Guess who’s fault it was????? The idiot CAR driver who decided to swerve all over & go right under his tires, the idiot CAR driver who thought they had clearance in front of the truck, only to have to slam on brakes once he cut my dad off!! People want to blame truckers all the time when that may be the case at times but more than half of the time it’s damn sure not the TRUCKERS fault! Now don’t get me wrong… There r plenty of idiot truck drivers out there but there are way more a**hole drivers! People should really learn to respect a semi as it is tons & tons of weight as opposed to a car! And god forbid a TRUCKER doesn’t have your needs delivered on time… You’ll blame the trucker for driving the middle lane!!!
I’m glad your Dad has been able to do this job all these years it’s not an easy lift. I agree with you wholeheartedly. The drivers are the cause of more of these accidents and deaths than the truckers.
Thank you!! I am grateful for all that he has endured as a driver that he is still with us!! Appreciate your comment alot!! Happy New Year’s 🍾
Zero respect for truckers says
I have zero respect for truckers. I was broke down on the side of 95 once, and several truckers zipped past my car riding 2-3 feet over the white line on the rumble strips. They aimed for my car, flying past just inches away getting right back in their lane after passing me. Even with the tow truck driver working, they zipped past his head on the rumble strips. I asked him if that was normal, and he said yes – all the time. Zero respect.
Ok… Because I’m sure that was the case! So blame every trucker for a few had ones!! It would be like blaming all bikers for a few bad ones etc… You sound like an idiot!!!
You are kidding right ?
Trucks deliver all of our goods. They do not have to stay in ONE lane. Drive with a trucker once and you will see it in an entirely different view. AND this was not the truckers fault as you are implying.
Thats not what happened – he was being moved over due to an accident in front of him and she came up and did not slow down and went under him – IT WAS NOT HIS FAULT..
Rose Kaye says
My condolences to the victim and family. Your comment is 100% spot on!
This was the law for a long time! I’m sure the law being changed has led to an increase in accidents. My nephew was killed by the exact scenario you described.
Laughing all the way says
Oh yeah, blame the truck. People in cars do the same damn thing. Ride 3 lanes wide and all drive the same speed. Cars aren’t governed to a certain speed, no excuse for doing that crap. Most semis are governed between 62-72mph depending on the company. So truck 1 who can go 70 should just never pass truck 2 that can only go 62? Or the idiot tourist going only 50 when traffic is clear? Through the entire state? 😂 If you hate trucks so much you should just never buy another thing again.
Scott Olsen says
I could not agree more. If a truck is passing use the center then get right back to right lane. It would be
No was not his fault.
Truck drivers should not always stay in the right lane. Trucks should be able to stay in the far left lane as this us the safest lane to be in. Cars do not know how to merge into traffic and alot of cars will speed past trucks only to dart across three lanes of traffic to take an exit. If the government has its way all trucks will have speed limiters on them causing even more trucks to be bunched together thus causing more incidents with impatient drivers of cars. If everyone was more attentive, courteous, and safe, alot of this would be eliminated. I’ve been a professional truck driver for 23 years and I see it all everyday! I’ve been accident free all of these years by staying focused and always anticipating the worst.
No trucks should not be able to use the far left lane, which is a lane for passing. They create dangerous conditions by going much slower than passing vehicles and it is illegal here in Florida and in Georgia, for obvious reasons.
Having cut my teeth driving in Atlanta traffic for decades, I learned to not only watch for brake lights from the first car or two ahead, but also looking 6 to 10 cars ahead. I have avoided many a slammed-on-brakes accident by doing so.
Thomas Lewis says
Trucks change lanes to maintain their speed not to block traffic.They also have limited vision hauling a 53 foot trailer behind them so its helpful when drivers flash their lights to signal its safe to change lanes.A better policy is to give them room,never tailgate and never block a tractor trailer from maintaining its speed,move over.My dads advice to me.Trucks always have the right of way Tom.Anything less will get you killed.I never forgot those words.
So sorry this happened. Prayers for the victim’s family and loved ones.
Readers, please don’t speculate as to what caused this crash. Sometimes people have heart attacks,
drop a cigarette, or receive a disturbing phone call resulting in a tragedy such as this. This is a terrible thing
for the victim’s family. Let’s be sensitive even if we’re out of practice. I’ve been a little insensitive of late myself…
I convey my heartfelt sympathies to the lady’s family.
drop a lit smoke : pull over … phone rings: pull over … turning, use the damn blinkers
I pulled up on the crash before the cops arrived. Traumatized after what I saw, a gruesome reminder to drive safer on the interstate. God bless her soul and her family as well as the truck driver.
Leslie Johnson says
So sad for this news. Heartfelt prayers to the family of this woman!
My heart goes out to the families. May this poor woman rest in peace.
Need more FHP or sheriff’s deputies on 95. The only time you ever see them is when there’s a holiday. You rarely see them between Matanzas and Ormond Beach exit on 40. That is a fact.
You never see FL Highway Patrol on I95, no wonder there are so many accidents on that highway. START PARTOLING AND DO YOUR JOBS.
And you’ll be the first to complain when you get a ticket from FHP.
Seems truck is missing a Mansfield Bar!
Only because the car either sheared it off or it folded under during the impact. Do some research on the topic – those bumpers have been required in one form or another since 1952; long before the Mansfield accident.
John B says
I was wondering about that too. I thought Mansfield bars were mandatory these days. Would like to know exactly what happened here.
Jenn Jenn says
Thanks for sharing the link,,,I never knew that. God Bless to the womans family.
Paul jefferies says
How fast was she going ? Don’t tractor trailers have a safety bar on the bottom of the trailer to prevent a vehicle from going under ?
The dude says
Those safety bars will only do so much against the weight of a car with some velocity behind it.
The bars will start to yield when impacted at about 35 mph. You can only imagine the speed differential for the car to have hit the truck hard enough to collapse the safety bar. The only thing that stopped this car was the rear axle of the trailer.
Tragic accident! But, FlaglerLive, is it necessary to provide details of her death. Could you be more sensitive to her family and friends who might read this?
Telling it like it is is what separates the thorough reporters from the hacks. Sad as it is. I was surprised by the blunt statement also, but it informed
Ellen Bendana says
A terrible tragedy…I was caught up in the traffic back up for SEVERAL hours…my suggestion would be to allow the Hammock Dunes Bridge to open the gates when there is a closure of 1-95 and traffic is trying to re-reroute to A1A. US-1 Northbound was also a parking lot, and it took over an hour to get from 1-95 to Hammock Dunes Bridge…just a suggestion.
Listen here interstate was made for the trucks don’t blame truck driver ! U have no clue how about slow down ! Trucks shouldnt be mandated to stay in right lane everyone should slow the hell down! Think jackass who made comment if trucks are not moving you and everybody else has nothing !
MIKE VIRGINIAK says
Interstates were not made for truckers. President Eisenhower had them made for the military. That being said,you can’t keep the trucks in one lane. Just drive out there as if your life depends on it cause it does.
Really ! Ok let everybody else drive as fast as they want to it’s not the dam truck drivers fault always blame the driver of the big trucks not! Apparently u don’t drive much . Clueless if not for trucks u would have nothing yes I drive and I see every dam body speeding past the truck texting or not looking past there windshield pull out to go around and a truck right there frigging clueless!
Prayers to the lady who lost her life, her family/loved ones and the truck driver who unfortunately had to experience this 😞
I see people texting and driving every day in both directions of I-95. Accidents like this are bound to happen when people have their heads buried in their phones and not paying attention to what’s ahead of them.
Steve Fields says
As a former resident of Flagler Beach and now living north of Orlando, I often drive I -4 over to I-9 to Flagler county and I rarely see any troopers, deputies, or local police along those roads. In my mind, there is no question, it is a very dangerous drive.
Why? Extream speed, weaving in out of heavy traffic, slow traffic driving in the left lane, which causes other drivers to become angry and aggressive. In many states this is called Dangerous Driving, which is a serious violation.
Anyone who has driven north on I-95 through Georgia sees a different scenario, there is much, much more of a police presence. There are troopers, depuities and local police patrolling and running stationery speed monitoring. You will also see many vehicles pulled over. Georgia also has has a law called “enhanced speeding”, which is a violation given when speed in excess of 15 mph over the limit. That results in a larger fine and more points. The result of this is a major slow down and far less agressive driving the moment you cross into Georgia.
Florida officials complain that they don’t have enough man power to properly patrol the highways. The soultion is obivious: Pay more money for our LEO’s so they can help stop this carnage on our highways.
I wounder how many readers here know that I-4 is the most dangerous interstate highway on the US based on fatalites per mile. In fact it is the only interstate highway with more than one death per mile! I-95 ranks third in fatalites per mile here in Florida and nunmber 1 in total fatalites along it’s full legenth Florida.
Isn’t it time our state and local highway officials got serious about this danger to all of us and fixed it?
Prayers to this womans family and I could not agree more, we have lived in Flagler county for 12 years and Neve4r see any troopers …ever. We drive through Ga. and they are every where and it does make a BIG difference in peoples driving. RIP
Big Mike says
Hey Double Gator…how can you tell from that accident photo that the ICC Bar ( Mansfield Bar) was missing? In 2011, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tested the guards and found that they were effective in stopping cars from sliding underneath semi-trucks. Speed is an important factor, as “effective” guards are often tested at speeds around 35 or 40 mph. A car traveling at a 70 mph highway speed may still crash through the guard. The ICC Bar is mandatory and is part of the DOT inspections. It’s highly likely that due to the speed of the car hitting the truck went through the bar. Pay attention on what’s going on in front of you is the best prevention.
What part of keep right, pass left do we not understand?
I never seen traffic cops on 95…why?
I was stopped at the 4 way stop before the Toll Bridge at Palm Coast and was rear ended
and I jumped out of the car and the guy just drove around me and kept going.
Christopher Lemke says
Very sad. A great rule of thumb to calculate a safe following distance is to pick a landmark that the vehicle in front of you passes and count three to four seconds. That is the point you should be passing that landmark. When coming to a stop you should be able to see the rear axle of the vehicle in front of you. Very simple principles that almost always work. Texting while driving sometimes produces a very unhappy ending.
Trucks need to stay in the right lane. Most states have the law, what is wrong with Florida?
I drove tractor trailers on I95 for 25 years in Florida in the 70s 80s and 90s. Never seen the Stupidity and Anger that I see today. I don’t drive I95 anymore.
The dude says
The truck was not the problem here.
Trucks belong on the interstates, that’s how we keep ourselves stocked up on “stuff”.
I always let trucks merge in if I see they have a blinker on. It’s the least I could do for them as they keep the supply chain functioning.
Ya cant fix stupid. Look at the picture.
Actually you can. That type of accident is what happened to Jayne Mansfield, (for you youngsters, a famous actress in days gone by). After that accident, Congress passed a law mandating structures under the back of semi-trailers exactly to prevent this type of accident — they are popularly known to this day as “Mansfield bumpers” or words to that effect. Why it didn’t help in this case is one of the mysteries of this accident.
Was a driver a long long time and fished as a CDL Instructor. Always knew it as ICC Bar…never heard of Mansfield lo
lWhat is an ICC bar?
The ICC bar name derives from the Interstate Commerce Commission, an agency that once oversaw the transportation industry in the United States. It’s sometimes referred to as a rear impact guard (RIG), rear underride guard, a Mansfield bar or a DOT bumper.
Interesting. You must be an old guy like me. I haven’t heard anybody mention the ICC for decades (I was a transportation economics guy so am/was quite familiar with the ICC back in the day. ICC was abolished in stages starting in the late 70’s and was completely put out of its misery by ’96. But you’re right is was the ICC, which had regulatory power over trucking, that put in the requirement for the “rear impact guards” not Congress directly.
Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
Can’t teach experience. Have hauled everything, Dynamite, explosives’, Frozen Food, oversized loads, u name it. Taught classes in CDL licensing…including behind the wheel. hardships and idiocy.
All kinds of comments here, some make sense, some don’t.
To those who yell “slow down!”: No, we don’t need to slow down. If you don’t like I-95, stay off. This is another example of people moving to Florida and trying to change it. The right lane is the slow lane, use it.
To those who cry about lane usage: The left lane is for passing only, it’s not the cruising lane. Cars staying in the left lane after passing is one of the biggest problems we have. It causes backups and motivates people to pass on the right, or as some call it weaving through traffic. Trucks cannot stay in the right lane, because if they did, no one could enter or exit the highway. The right lane is the slow lane, use it. The middle lane is for the rest of us until we want to pass (again, use the left lane for passing only) or exit.
When driving in the right (slow) lane, move to the middle lane when vehicles are trying to enter, then move back when this is accomplished. Anticipate entering vehicles, such as at weigh stations, merging lanes or rest areas and be ready to move. Forget cruise control in heavy areas.
As for truckers, they do the best they can and we should give them leeway. However, I do know that their manners are a lot different now than what they used to be. I recall signalling them with my lights as they passed, or as I passed, and watching them thank me with all the lights on their vehicle flashing “Thank you!” No more.
As for stupids, it can’t be fixed. I’ve seen people hold on to mattresses, on the roof of their cars, with their hands. I once watched a woman floss her teeth while using her knees to steer. Just watch out for them.
Again, left lane passing only, middle lane cruising, and right lane is the slow, exit, enter lane. If we followed these rules, we’d be a lot better off.