Santeena Spates and Carlton Francis Jr. were in their car running a few post-wedding errands before leaving town for their honeymoon when they had a very serious scare while traveling on Interstate 95. A large pole became airborne and went right through the windshield of their Range Rover. The event occurred around 11:30 a.m. one recent morning while the couple was traveling southbound on I-95 near the Griffin Road exit in Hollywood. The couple remembers seeing a vehicle in front of them hit some debris in the roadway right before the pole broke through their windshield.
"It sounded like an explosion," Francis told a local television station after the accident.
He was riding in the passenger seat when the pole came through the windshield, nearly hitting him and his bride, who was driving the Range Rover. The couple was able to safely pull over to the side of I-95 after the frightening accident and quickly assessed their condition. They were both covered with shards of glass but otherwise unhurt. However, the metal pole was still stuck in their windshield.
"It was literally across my chest," Francis told the station.
They were taken to nearby Memorial Regional Hospital, where they were treated for minor cuts and released.
Sgt. Mark Wysocky, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officer who investigated the incident, marveled at how lucky the newlyweds were, as the accident could have had a very different outcome.
"Both were pretty shaken up,” he said, “but they had no scratches and no injuries."
The pair had been married three days before the accident occurred and were running last-minute errands before leaving for their honeymoon in Hawaii. FHP investigators were unable to determine the source of the debris, but cited two similar incidents that had tragic outcomes. In 2005, a Broward County Circuit Court Judge was killed on I-595 when he swerved to avoid hitting a large piece of plastic debris in the roadway. He lost control, struck a concrete piling and died when his car burst into flames. In 2004, a 34-year-old Pompano Beach woman was killed on I-95 when a 34-pound piece of steel crashed through her windshield.
Companies and drivers who haul debris are required to secure their loads to prevent objects from flying off and becoming deadly projectiles on Florida roadways. If they fail to do so and debris they are hauling causes an accident, they can be held liable for any damages that occur. Have you been injured by road debris? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information about your rights, the law and your legal options, call 888-425-2004 today, and schedule a free consultation with Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham. He has been helping injured people since 1977.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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