A compact 2004 Nissan was traveling south on I-95 minutes before 6 p.m. wrecked just before the Matanzas overpass, at mile marker 294. The passenger, Michael Pizzoferrato, 25, a civil engineer in Jacksonville, was killed. His wife Christina Pizzoferrato, 21, who was driving, was transported to a hospital in critical condition. It was the third fatality in three days on Flagler roads.
Both driver and passenger were from Jacksonville, according to a Florida Highway Patrol investigator at the scene. A subsequent Florida Highway Patrol report, released at 4:45 p.m. June 14, states that “for unknown reason,” the car was driven “onto the median and began to rotate clockwise as the driver attempted to steer back onto the travel lane. Vehicle overturned numerous times and came to rest on the shoulder.”
The driver and passenger were both wearing seat-belts.
The medical examiner did not arrive at the scene until 8:15 p.m.: he had been at the scene of a wreck in Putnam County, where a 34-year-old woman and her two children, 6 and 9, were killed Monday afternoon when the woman, Melissa Johnson, 34, of Putnam County, drove across railroad tracks in Pomona Park, in the way of a northbound Amtrak train on its way to New York.
The sedan on I-95 had come to a rest on its back after swerving and flipping toward the left median, out of traffic’s way. The left-most lane of the southbound lanes on the highway was closed. Debris littered parts of the lane and the median, including two paperbacks, some framed photographs–one of them showing three young men dressed for a high occasion, such as a wedding–a severed front wheel and the front fender and shattered glass. Two full, black suitcases, the kind used for long trips, were also later collected near the car.
The body of the passenger remained in the car, protected by a screen, until the medical examiner released it at 8:35 p.m.
On the same day that the third road fatality in three days was recorded in Flagler, the Florida Highway Patrol released figures indicating that the number of traffic fatalities in 2009 had fallen to a record low of 2,563 in Florida, down from 2,983 the previous year. The rate of road fatalities, based on miles traveled, also fell to a record low of 1.3 fatalities per 100 million miles traveled.