Two Young Children Fatally Injured During Lee County Car Crash
According to arresting authorities with the Florida Highway Patrol operating in Lehigh Acres, a 44-year-old woman and mother of five has been jailed for her connection to a fatal auto accident that claimed the lives of her two small children this past Saturday after she allegedly allowed an underage driver behind the wheel because she was too intoxicated to maneuver the motor vehicle.
It was shortly before 6:30 p.m. on August 28, 2021, when 44-year-old Immokalee resident Joyce Cara Zamago and her five children ranging in age from 3-14 years all piled into the family van and headed out on State Road 82 in Lee County. Zamago, who was reportedly under the influence of alcohol at the time, made the deadly decision that it would be a safe idea for her 14-year-old daughter to drive the vehicle since she was too impaired to take the wheel.
As the van proceeded in the westbound direction of S.R. 82 and approached the street’s intersection with Sunshine Boulevard South, the teen moved forward into the left-turn lane while a 37-year-old man driving an SUV simultaneously entered the area from the eastbound direction on the same road. The underage driver, presumably unaware and probably unfamiliar with the usual traffic laws and right-of-way procedures, tried to turn left onto Sunshine Boulevard South but instead unintentionally positioned their vehicle in the direct path of the oncoming sport utility vehicle. The driver of the SUV was unable to avoid a collision with the family’s van and the two motorists crashed into each other in the middle of the intersection.
Lee County emergency response teams were immediately dispatched and rushed to the scene of the accident where they found multiple individuals suffering from a variety of life-threatening injuries. An 8-year-old girl, a 10-year-old boy, the teen driver, and the 44-year-old mother all sustained minor injuries in the collision, however, her 4-year-old daughter was killed in the crash and her 3-year-old daughter was transported to a local hospital in critical condition where she succumbed to her injuries shortly after arriving at the medical center. No one in the van was wearing a seatbelt.
The two adults and three children passengers inside the SUV were all wearing seatbelts when the fatal incident occurred.
Officers arrested Joyce Cara Zamago on charges of aggravated child abuse, permitting a minor to drive, and driving without a license causing death or serious injury. She currently remains in the Lee County Jail without bond.
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.