Four Dead, Two Hurt in Palm Beach Car Accident
Four people have died and two more were injured in a multi-vehicle accident near US 27 and Willard Smith Road in Western Palm Beach County recently. The accident occurred six to seven miles away from South Bay Tuesday morning when there was heavy fog. The four people who have been confirmed dead in the crash are Carolina Ortiz, 39, Luis Varona, 17, Alejandro Varona, 16, and Melissa Varona, 14 years old.
The first accident happened after a trailer from a semi became disengaged from a tractor heading southbound on U.S. 27, where it sat on the roadway without lights. A Ford truck carrying Ms. Ortiz and the Varona children came upon it, struck the trailer, and ended on the side of the road. Soon afterwards, another truck came down the road and hit another corner of the trailer.
A sergeant on the scene stated that after that, “The second tractor trailer came along and struck the initial vehicle that struck the tractor trailer and pushed it all the way off the roadway into the muck area.” A fourth passenger in the car was airlifted to the hospital with serious injuries, and the driver of the second semi-truck was treating for minor injuries.
According to the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, crews found multiple vehicles with heavy damage and trapped occupants. Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to free some occupants from their vehicles and get them emergency care. Unfortunately, Ms. Ortiz and the Varona children were all declared dead at the scene.
Weather Causing Car Accidents
The U.S. Department of Transportation completed a study regarding how weather affects car accidents on our country’s roads. According to the report, “weather acts through visibility impairments, precipitation, high winds, and temperature extremes to affect driver capabilities, vehicle performance (i.e., traction, stability and maneuverability), pavement friction, roadway infrastructure, crash risk, traffic flow, and agency productivity.”
Every year, there are around 5,870,000 car accidents across America, and 23% of these crashes, around 1,312,000 accidents, are weather-related. On average, 6,250 people are killed and another 480,000 people are injured every year because of weather-related accidents. These types of accidents include conditions such as wet pavement, rain, snow, sleet, ice, slushy pavement, and dense fog.
According to the department’s study, over a 10-year period between 2002 and 2012 fog was attributed to, on average, 31,385 car accidents every year on the road across the country. Of those, 11,812 people were injured and 511 were killed. Fog is connected to three percent of all weather-related accidents, injuries, and nine percent of weather-related fatalities every year.
Contact a Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone that you know has been injured in a car accident around the West Palm Beach area, let the experienced personal injury attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates help. Reach out to us today to discuss your case.