Last Updated: Monday, 1 p.m.
Janjira and James Russo were killed and Arthur Thornton of Palm Coast was in critical condition after a single-vehicle crash on Hammock Dunes Parkway just after 6 p.m. Easter Sunday evening.
The trio was traveling in a Lexus SUV south on the Parkway. Thornton was at the wheel.
For unknown reasons at the moment, the Lexus left the road, jumped the concrete curb, and collided head on, very violently, with an older oak tree. The tree didn’t budge. The car’s front was unrecognizable.
At the scene, Thornton, 83, at first refused medical attention, but later complained of chest pains, and by the time he reached Florida Hospital Flagler, his condition had worsened, so he was transported to Halifax hospital in Daytona Beach as a trauma alert.
Janjira and James Russo, a married couple from Poinciana, were Thornton’s passengers. James, 75, was sitting in the front passenger seat, his wife, 77, was in the back seat. Both were without a pulse when paramedics arrived at the scene. CPR was carried out on both. Paramedics were initially able to revive James, but not Janjira, who was pronounced dead at Florida Hospital Flagler.
Her husband was flown to Halifax hospital by Flagler County Fire Flight, the emergency helicopter. But he died later that evening as well, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The Poincianna couple’s identities were released Monday afternoon.
All three victims were wearing seat belts. Charges are pending, according to FHP.
The wreck took place just north of Hotel Trace Boulevard. Hammock Dunes Parkway, a lightly traveled two-lane road, which gently curves in the area of the crash. It closely parallels State Road A1A east of it. Road conditions were dry and the sun was out. The force of the wreck was such that a black, softball-size object from the vehicle flew some 30 feet ahead of the point of impact, landing on on the opposite sidewalk.
Flagler County Fire Rescue, the Palm Coast Fire Department, the sheriff’s office and the Palm Coast Fire Police responded to the scene, as did the Florida Highway Patrol. An FHP traffic homicide investigator arrived at the scene just after 8 p.m, as then did additional FHP units.
David S. says
I feel sorry for these people involved in this crash,the speed limits on this road are not more than 35mph.My wife goes down this road for work and people are always speeding and passing on a double line.I have never spotted a deputy in 15 yrs on this road. A few people have lost their lives in the last few years due to speeding.
Komodo Dragon says
A very unfortunate situation.
Vicki and Brian Nixon says
So sad, another terrible loss here in Palm Coast. Prayers for all those involved and family and friends.
Very sad. Condolences to the families involved.
I wonder if excess speed and the lack of seat belts were the cause of their deaths ? I would like to know.
Bobby Shields says
Did you read the article? They were wearing seat belts.
If verified to be true, an appropriate road bump would convey an effective message to slow down for some folks who would say ‘Make me’.
Pepper F says
I have seen the police stopping and ticketing multiple times. The police are doing their job! We don’t know the speed or the cause of the accident. Please don’t throw blame around when you don’t have all of the facts.
Vicki and Brian Nixon says
The article clearly states they Were All wearing seat belts. So sad.
Old Lady says
Another elderly driver behind the wheel, shame no one realizes what they are capable of.
Sad needless deaths. My only other comment is Why would it be necessary to have charges pending? An accident is just what it states. Though unfortunate and someone made a terrible mistake. do we always have to resort to punishment and not corrective measures? This Society is unforgiving! May they rest in peace!
@ Lazaruis ” All three victims were wearing seat belts.”
Until Florida starts testing its older drivers this will continue to happen after age 70 a driver should be tested every 2-3 years and maybe they can pass on from natural causes not do to violent traffic crash