A Palm Beach Gardens, Florida truck accident left five people injured on Sunday, news sources report. The accident occurred when a single pickup truck, which was carrying all five victims, crashed at an intersection. Some of the victim may have been in the bed of the truck. Information regarding the victims’ identities was not immediately available following the crash. Police are currently conducting an investigation, but so far, no charges have been filed. It remains to be seen whether any of the victims will file for damages.
According to reports, the accident occurred around 1:50 Sunday afternoon near the intersection of Alternate A1A and Hood Road in Palm Beach Gardens. Some of the victims in the pickup may have been sitting in the bed of the truck when the accident happened, sources say. According to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, it is illegal for anyone in Florida under the age of 18 to ride in the bed of a pickup truck without a seatbelt. However, persons above the age of 18, along with animals, are legally allowed to ride in truck beds. The ages of the victims have not been released.
Paramedics rushed a few victims to the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center following the crash. The rest were taken to the Jupiter Medical Center. Reports say only minor injuries were sustained. Police are investigating the crash and it is unclear whether any other vehicle were involved. It is also unclear whether speed or alcohol played a role in the crash.
Not all experts agree that riding in the beds of trucks, where seatbelts are not an option, should be legal. “It is obviously dangerous to ride in the back of pickup trucks unrestrained,” a Florida Highway Patrol Lieutenant said. “In the event of a crash, the possibility of being ejected and injured unnecessarily is greater.”
In July 2009, Miranda J. Zant of Jacksonville was killed in a similar pickup truck accident, reports say. Zant, 16, was in the bed of a pickup truck when the driver lost control and the truck flipped. She and other passengers were ejected from the vehicle, and Zant died at the scene. Police did not reveal the identities of the other parties injured in that crash. A police investigation later revealed that the truck’s driver may have been under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident, though It is unclear whether police pressed charges.
According to reports, that accident occurred around 3 a.m. on July 27 in the 13000 block of Bartram Park Boulevard in Jacksonville. Four people were in the pickup at the time: two in the bed and two in the front seats. The driver lost control and the pickup flipped, ejecting Zant and the three other occupants.
Paramedics pronounced Zant dead at the scene, while another victim sustained critical injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Detectives who were at the scene of the accident said they could smell the odor of alcohol coming from the pickup’s driver. It is not clear whether a blood alcohol test was conducted.