No survivors in head-on crash in Flagler County

Historic City News was informed that due to the severe damage involved, Florida Highway Patrol traffic homicide investigator Corporal Pete Young was still trying to identify the makes of vehicles and identity of all parties involved in a two-vehicle, head-on collision that occurred Friday night at about 8:48 p.m.  All passengers in both vehicles died.

A woman and her two children, reported to be 6th and 7th grade girls attending Flagler County schools, were returning to Palm Coast after a family gathering in San Mateo, in Putnam County.  Although there were no witnesses identified, evidence collected at the scene indicates that the driver and her two passengers were traveling in a KIA not far from Shell Bluff Park on eastbound SR-100 Highway in Flagler County when the crash occurred.

The children were students at Belle Terre Elementary and Indian Trails Middle School. Later in the night, Terence Culver, the former principal at Belle Terre Elementary, posted the following on his Facebook page: “Just received a call that two of my former students Mozella, Kaleigh and Wilma, their mom, was killed in a head on collision.”

A yet unidentified man driving a Chevrolet pickup truck was heading toward Palatka, traveling westbound on SR-100 at a high rate of speed.  Corporal Young reported that the pickup truck crossed over the centerline and struck the other vehicle in the front.  After impact, both vehicles became fully engulfed in flames.

“Our deputies responded to 911 calls indicating that there was a crash in the 13000 block of West State Road 100.  Deputy Derek Logsdon was the first deputy on scene. He told me the cars were so enflamed that he couldn’t even get close to the vehicles, although he tried,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said from the scene. “Deputy Brian Jackson was second on the scene, then the fire department. Everybody did everything they could. I and two other deputies and then supervisors arrived on the scene. It’s probably one of the most horrific crashes I’ve seen in my career since the early 1970’s.”

The woman driving the Kia was on the phone with a relative at the time of the crash, an FHP investigator said. The relative heard a scream, and the line went silent. The investigator said the identity of all those involved could not be established based on evidence at the scene.

“What I thought was one vehicle, were two vehicles fully involved in flame. I quickly started looking around the immediate area for anyone who might have been ejected from the accident,” Deputy Jackson later reported. Minutes later, according to 911 dispatch notes, Fire and Rescue arrived on the scene and commenced extinguishing the vehicle fire. Jackson reported that he continued looking in the immediate area for ejections.

Fire Flight also arrived at the scene and helped look for ejections using a forward-looking infrared camera.  After the helicopter searched the area from the air, possible survivors were ruled out.