Historic City News was notified of a four-vehicle crash that had the northbound lanes of I-295 closed for approximately 3-hours yesterday, beginning at about 11:27 a.m.. The collision sent the driver and rear passenger to local hospitals in serious condition. The front passenger was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to traffic homicide investigators, the driver of a 1998 Toyota 4Runner, 19-year-old Karen Gregory of Ponte Vedra Beach, lost control of her vehicle, struck two other vehicles and then overturned several times.
Gregory was transported to Baptist South with serious injuries; the rear passenger, 19-year-old Melissa Martinez of Jacksonville, was transported to UF Health Jacksonville with serious injuries.
The front passenger, 19-year-old Haven Shonio, from Stowe, Vermont, died at the scene from her injuries. Shonio was a freshman member of the Flagler College Class of 2017 living in St Augustine.
The two other vehicles were a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado driven by 65-year-old Ioan Popa of Jacksonville, and a 2006 truck driven by 60-year-old Daniel Kuntson of Glenwood, Minnesota. The Silverado sustained about $1500 in damages and the freight truck sustained about $3000 in damages. Debris from the crash struck a fourth vehicle as it was passing by, causing about $500 in damages; a 1988 Toyota Truck driven by 68-year-old Roger Blanford of St Johns. No injuries were reported to occupants of the other three vehicles.
Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash that occurred on I-295 northbound, about 1 mile south of SR-13 in Duval County. The drivers of all vehicles and passengers were wearing seatbelts, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.
Category: HistoricCity 9-1-1