Several Children Injured In I-75 Crash Involving FHP Trooper
OCALA, Fla. -- Three children are in critical condition after an accident on Interstate 75 on Sunday involving several cars and an FHP patrol cruiser.
The crash, near mile marker 345 in Ocala, happened around 9:30 Sunday night. According to the Florida Highway Patrol crash report, a marked FHP patrol car driven by 20-year-old trooper Raul Umana was driving north on I-75 and attempting to make a U-turn in the center median when Umana struck a guardrail. The cruiser hit the front of a 2014 Nissan Altima driven by 28-year-old Christeia Jones of Orlando.
Jones' car then hit two other cars also traveling southbound, a 2011 Mercedes E350 and a tractor trailer. The Mercedes crashed into the guardrail while the semi and Altima came to a stop off the west shoulder of I-75 Southbound. The drivers of both the Mercedes and the semi suffered only minor injuries.
Jones was driving with three children ages two, five, and seven, who were all injured. They were life flighted to UF Health Shands in critical condition. On Monday their condition was stable. FHP officials say the two oldest children were likely not wearing their seatbelts, it's unclear if Jones was wearing hers.
Umana suffered minor injuries. The southbound lanes of I-75 were closed for about 6 hours after the crash occured.
FHP is continuing to investigate, and officials say charges could be filed agaisnt any party in this case pending the results of that investigation.
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