It all happened within a four-mile stretch of I-95 northbound in Palm Coast between 3 and 7 p.m.: four crashes involving a combined nine vehicles, none with serious injuries until the fourth crash, which claimed the life of a pick-up driver.
The fourth crash took place immediately north of the intersection with Palm Coast Parkway, killing Deborah Perfetto, 60, of Jacksonville.
A semi truck belonging to T. Williams Trucking of Raleigh, N.C., and driven by James Elvin, 52, of Maple Hill, N.C., had run out of fuel and stopped in the middle lane of the three-lane northbound segment. According to a witness who spoke with authorities, the driver, who had reportedly placed danger cones behind the semi, was not in the truck but was walking toward it when he saw a pick-up truck drive up the same lane, and apparently without slowing, slamming into the rear of the semi. A Florida Highway Patrol report confirmed the account.
The pick-up truck’s front end went underneath the semi and the cab of the pick-up, a white Toyota Tacoma registered in Florida, was demolished beyond recognition.
Palm Coast Fire Department firefighter-paramedics were engaged in an extraction before Perfetto was pronounced dead at the scene. The Florida Highway Patrol is conducting the traffic homicide investigation.
The string of crashes began at 3:08 p.m. with a crash that involved two vehicles, at mile marker 292. Injuries were minor. Just before 4 p.m., a tractor trailer jacknifed at mile marker 286, severely distorting the cab out of alignment. The driver was not injured. At 5:35 p.m., yet another crash took place at mile marker 286, involving four vehicles, but again without significant injuries.
The Palm Coast Fire Department, Flagler County Fire Rescue, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and the Palm Coast Fire Police responded to the crashes, which caused significant back-ups on I-95 down to State Road 100. The jacknife and fatality crash scenes were still active investigations at sundown.
The fatality was the seventh on Flagler roads this year.
Very dangerous stretch. NO POLICING. Weavers, speeders, trucks in left lane reckless, texting , careless, no wonder. Flood the 95 stretch with unmarked cars and you tell me. Just sayin.
Jim S. says
How is it dangerous? The highway is straight and level. Adding to a perfect stretch of roadway, the weather was beautiful today. No fog, no rain/snow, no slick conditions. No, it’s not a dangerous stretch of highway, it’s a stretch of highway filled with jackwads that can’t drive without their heads buried in their phones, flossing their teeth (and yes, I did witness that by one driver who passed me at 90+mph!) or basically doing anything; but, driving their vehicle.
..distracted driving, reckless speeds, ignorant people.. what happened to the 2 second rule?!?
I will hardly go on 95 now because of all of this..
If you can get yourself Into a 2 second rule on 95 I applaud
You. As soon as you get to that point some jackass cuts you right off😡
You forgot the part where the jackass flips you off while screaming at you and then as to slam on his brakes because of the car in front of him. And somehow, it’s all your fault.
Kimberly Kiley says
This so true people are also always on the phone and not paying attention I thought the law was pass no cellphone unless it hand free
K M says
Would like to say that the driver of the truck that died shouldn’t be put in that category…..I at least feel it may have been medical situation and had no control of the situation….she was too cautious of a driver to just get into that kind of accident….. 😔😞
I totally agree, speed with concentration is not the danger. I lived in Germany for many years where there are no speed limits on many autobahns and know speed was rarely problematic .However, neither are the cars in Germany, which are much more road worthy by comparison to some buckets allowed on roads and highways in the USA. I have been hit by one of those texters and weavers, plus seen how dangerous they are on the roads. Time to enforce hefty fines those using their phones whilst driving.
I’m on this stretch of 95 regularly and see LE between the three PC exits all the time. Avg speed IS over 85 , most of the assholes coming up on my ass in my sports car at 85 plus are pickup trucks
People ARE the Problem says
Agree 100% Distracted and/or aggressive driving is the isse, NOT the quality of the roadway. Slow down, leave 5 minutes earlier, and pay attention to the ROAD, not your phone.
I agree. I’ve been driving for 38 years and have not had a major accident. The road is full of people who suck at driving, and that’s the problem.
Steve said the same thing as you except short and to the point
Like I said ITS DANGEROUS, However made that way Genius. SMH Geez
Why do the truckers continually drive in the middle and fast lanes? Had he been driving in the right side lane where he supposed to be when the truck malfunction he could’ve pulled off the road and saved a life.
Name (required) says
Unlike every other bozo on the interstate, yes these trucks are in the slow lane unless they are passing another slower vehicle, or yielding to on-ramp users, this truck was likely doing just that as it was at or past the on-ramp at time of incodent. These truck drivers drive better and more cautiously per capita than any of the negligent, inattentive drivers of this area. Next…
I agree. Surely he could have coasted over to the break down lane.
Sounds like you are trying to blame the driver of the truck. Maybe he was trying to pass some at the time and couldn’t get back over before the traffic came to a standstill. People sometimes just think truckers don’t have the right to use that center lane at all to pass another vehicle. So give me a break, trucks have the right to use that center lane just as much as you and everybody else. Including you.
Paul Pasternak says
Maybe they should put a roundabout there.
My condolences to the family of Deborah. Roundabouts work. Traffic flows and it cause drivers to slow down and pay attention. The only people that complain are ones that are in rush and feel it wrong to forced to slow down or to lazy to drive around a circle. In Europe roundabouts are everywhere and the only time you sit in traffic is at red lights.
I95 in Palm Coast has become a death trap of unnecessary fatal accidents due to texting, speeding, tail gating, lane changing, cutting off people. Are people becoming brain dead behind the wheel of their cars? Can we all try to be more responsible and kinder to our fellow drivers!
Name (required) says
Why was the truck in the center lane stopped?? I can only assume that he couldn’t get over into the rightmost lane or shoulder because well, nobody could or maybe would yield since there’s an on-ramp? What’s with this place? It sure feels like there’s an exorbitant amount of accidents on 95 surrounding palm coast. Rest In Peace, sir. Sorry.
What kind of truck driver Runs Out Of Gas
If he was aware why not be riding on right so could sorta went off to dead stop!
Not Middle Lane
Rosco P Coltrain says
The truck stalled while sitting in the traffic jam from the prior wrecks. Being in the center lane is a non issue.
What bothers me is the lack of law enforcement across all interstates in Florida by FHP and county mounties. I’ve seen this trend in place for about the last decade. I suspect it might be due to the inherent dangers of having cars pulled over to the side, and cops getting constantly run over (?) by morons.
Law enforcement needs to do their jobs. Hit the streets and start writing them up. I’m talking a mass elongated ticketing campaign. Speed the process up for ticketing. Why the hell does it take 30 minutes to write a citation?! Rest assured they do that and watch everyone slow down, obey the laws of the land, and fewer people will die. Period. But 95 in north Florida is notoriously one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in all of America, and I think its due to the complete lack of law enforcement. Yes, 85+ mph is the going average rate.
Finally, that truck was stalled for awhile. That truck was on DoT cams and known by law enforcement. Why there wasn’t FHP or at least a county cop parked behind with lights a flashing is beyond comprehension. But there sure as hell were LITERALLY 6 cop cars parked on Palm Coast Pkwy at the time of this accident, within EYESHOT of the overpass!
Do your job Staly!!! Your little stretch of highway is one of the most deadly in the country, and it is a super rare occasion to see your cars out there enforcing the laws! Not talking about driving along listening to tunes waiting for Bonnie and Clyde, or parked in the median ingesting donuts. Write the damn tickets! Make a few bucks to help pay for your wanted Taj Majal operations center.
Name (required) says
The article clearly says the truck ran out of fuel.
Rosco P Coltrain says
You are absolutley correct . I come from another state and I cant believe the lack of enforcement. I have followed trucks doing 90 and gave up following them. Lack of traffic enforcement very dangerous place to drive!
Mary Fusco says
Rosco, Yes, people do speed. However, people also need to put their GD phones away and concentrate on the road and what they are doing. Obviously the idiot that ran out of fuel on 95 could not read his fuel monitor or it was broken.. Either way, he had cones around his truck that was disabled. This women obviously was not paying attention and ran up under it killing herself. I have a cell phone and when I am driving, it is OFF and in my purse. Either way, if you are driving defensively, you have a few car lengths between you and the vehicle that is disabled so that you don’t run up under it and kill yourself. Well, if you are texting when someone asks you “where are u” you may not see it. People need to take responsibility for their own actions.
It is not the job of Flagler County Sheriffs Dept. to patrol that Interstate. That is the job of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Heading North says
And the FHP may have ONE trooper on duty in Flagler County at any given time, and on midnight shift one may cover Flagler, St. John’s and Putnam counties by himself/herself. Trust me, I was that trooper for years!!!!!!
As one of Deborah Perfettos sisters… I just want to say til the investigation clears on what caused my sister to die in such a horrific way please take into consideration this could have been a medical situation where she was incapable of controlling the vehicle.. Deborah was a very cautious driver, beautiful soul, outgoing, and the person our family depended on to keep us all together and despite any quarrels we ever have end of the day we are all we have … life is so so short do not spend it holding grudges family is so very precious and irreplaceable.. :'( Yes, the interstate all over the usa is dangerous… its not any one specific section… pls slow down everyone, pay attention,and drive in appropriate lanes… be courteous… we all have somewhere or someone to get home to dont kill someone else in the process please…most of us are older adult drivers.. use common sense and yes stay off the phone its not worth your life or the life of someone elses loved one…… god bless .. Rip Debbie… we will all miss you til we meet again in heaven… :(
I had a friend who was an FHP officer for years. He retired earlier than he should have because he didn’t want to get killed by these lack-of-respect morons who think they can shoot cops just because they feel like it. Things changed over his career and the environment just made it too dangerous. The low pay wasn’t helping either.
County law enforcement has just as much responsibility for patrolling (and ticketing) the interstates and highways in it’s county as the highway patrol does. Oftentimes its even more since they’ll typically have far more resources and assets available than the highway patrol.
The primary reason county sheriffs shy away from it is due to their reelection bids!