Jose Felix Fonseca-Reina of Port Richey, Florida and three others were injured in a cement truck accident on State Road 54 Wednesday, reports say. Reina, 39, sustained minor injuries as a result of the crash. The three other drivers were identified as Johanna Cronin, 50, of Land O’Lakes; Maria Gelyon, 37, also of Land O’Lakes; and Ashley Campbell, 27, of Dade City. Each driver was taken to a nearby medical center. Their conditions were listed as serious but stable. The FHP has put a hold on issuing any legal charges while they continue their investigation.
Reports say the accident occurred around 11:45 Wednesday morning along State Road 54 near Suncoast Parkway. Reina was behind the wheel of a 1999 Oshkosh cement truck. The truck is the property of Reina’ Odessa-based employer, A-Plus Masonry & Concrete Pumping. When Reina turned onto SR 45, the brakes in the vehicle apparently failed. He was unable to stop the truck as it drifted across the westbound lanes, a median, and into the eastbound lanes. It came to a violent halt when it crashed into three idle cars in the eastbound roadway.
The three vehicles were all side-by-side when the cement truck plowed into them. There was a 1998 Honda Accord, driven by Cronin, in the inner lane; a 2012 Volvo XC60 SUV, driven by Gelyon, in the center lane; and a 2013 Toyota Scion, driven by Campbell, in the inside lane. Each vehicle sustained damages in the collision.
After medical responders arrived on the scene, Cronin was escorted to the Tampa General Hospital while Gelyon and Campbell were rushed to the St. Joseph’s Hospital. The FPH says each victim sustained serious but non-life threatening injures from the wreck. Reina sustained only minor injuries and medical workers were able to treat him on the scene.
The FHP is continuing to look into the cause of the accident and have so far held off on filing any charges. In the event that brake failure is the cause, the victims may choose to file lawsuits against the owner of the cement truck, reports suggest. Following the accident, a spokesperson from A-Plus Masonry & Concrete Plumping announced that he was “very distraught about this situation; I know it’s a mechanical failure, but my heart goes out to these families.”
While the victims in the Odessa accident escaped with their lives, two drivers in Orange County were not so fortunate. Charles Penrose of Orange County, Florida and 24-year-old Joseph Hughes were pronounced dead following a head-on collision on August 30, reports say. A third driver, Robert Gendronwas, also involved in the accident, but escaped with non-life threatening injuries.
During their investigation, the FHP has reportedly discovered that Hughes may have been having thoughts of suicide prior to the accident. The FHP says they learned about the suicidal feelings from Hughes’ girlfriend. “We understand he was upset over some kind of argument they had and he did tell her that this was his plan to do this. Obviously I don’t think anybody would believe that somebody would do this,” a spokesperson from the FPH explained. The status of the wreck has since changed from accident to suicide with homicide, reports say.
Reports say the Hughes was traveling along the westbound lanes of State Road 408 when the accident occurred. He was purportedly driving up the incorrect lanes with his headlights off when he collided head-on with Penrose. Because of the position of Gendronwas’ vehicle, Penrose was boxed in and unable to swerve away from Hughes’ car