Three people died and nine others were injured following a rollover crash of a Ford Expedition that took place on the Florida Turnpike last Saturday, April 4.
The accident, according to investigators, appears to have been caused by the tread on one of the SUV’s tires separating, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.
38-year-old Uriel Miranda was pronounced dead at the scene, 2-year-old Yaretsi Miranda and 8-year-old Yordi Miranda later died at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Martin County Sherriff’s Office noted that 6 of the passengers were transported by helicopter. Officials from Florida Highway Patrol said that all survivors of the tragic accident were from Apopka, Florida.
The driver, 25-year-old Oduver Miranda was released from the hospital the day of the accident, along with 7-year-old Edwin Miranda. The other survivors are all listed in stable condition and are being treated at both, St. Mary’s Medical Center as well as Lawnwood Medical Center.
The vehicle involved in the accident, a Ford Expedition, is only legally able to seat 7-8 passengers, however, at the time of this accident, there were twelve passengers. Investigators determined that at least six of the passengers were unrestrained at the time of the accident. Several of the twelve passengers, including seven children between ages 2 and 10, were ejected from the vehicle.
A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration spokesperson stated that, “In fatal crashes in 2012, 79 percent of passenger-vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicles were killed. Seat belts are effective in preventing total ejections.”
Florida law now mandates that children under the age of six must ride in a crash-tested, federally approved car seat or booster seat.