Three Members of Family Killed in Leesburg Crashes
On Christmas Eve, a family of four was traveling down the western lanes of State Road 44 inside of a 2018 Toyota. At the same time, two individuals were inside of a 2019 black Ram pickup truck and headed down the eastern lanes of this same road. Both of the cars were closing in on Dozier Court in Leesburg at around 8:30 in the evening on the 24th of December.
In the 2018 Toyota were the 44-year-old Christopher Smith, the 35-year-old Jessica Smith, and their two children: a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old. In the 2019 Ram pickup truck were the 33-year-old Zachery Waldo and the 33-year-old Keven Cunningham. Waldo is believed to be a resident of Mount Dora while Cunningham was reported as being from the town of Tavares.
At the intersection of State Road 44 (also called Dixie Avenue in the area where the incident took place) and Dozier Court is a traffic light. The reports from the Leesburg Police Department suggested that it was not immediately clear what the light was doing when the two vehicles mentioned above approached the intersection. What we do know is that the 44-year-old driving the Toyota was attempting to make a left turn across the eastern lanes of State Road 44 in order to join Dozier Court.
It is possible that the Toyota had the right of way. It is also possible that the driver of the Toyota didn’t realize that the Ram was as close to the intersection as it was. These pieces of information remain the subject of an investigation. What we do know is that as the Toyota was turning across the eastern lanes of State Road 44 it was t-boned by the Ram.
Emergency response crews rushed to the scene as soon as they were notified. When they arrived, they found that both the 44-year-old driver and the 35-year-old passenger in the Toyota had died as a result of the injuries they sustained in the crash. The 13-year-old in the back was assessed as being in critical condition and she was rushed to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando. It was reported that she died as a result of her injuries sometime during the following morning.
The 11-year-old child was also injured in the crash and taken to the Arnold Palmer Hospital, however the extent of his injuries as well as his current condition is not known.
Both of the individuals inside of the Ram were transported to the Ocala Regional Medical Center. The extent of their injuries is not known.
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.