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Fort Pierce, Florida Semi Hit-and-Run Leaves Two Dead

A Fort Pierce, Florida semi-truck hit-and-run left a man and a woman who were trying to change a flat tire dead on the shoulder of the Florida Turnpike on Monday, news sources report. Information regarding the victims’ identities was not immediately available following the incident. The driver of the semi-truck fled the scene following the crash. Police have not been able to identify the driver as of yet, but an investigation is ongoing. It remains to be seen whether loved ones of the victims will be filing for damages.

Reports say the accident happened around 8:00 Monday evening on the Florida Turnkpike, around mile marker 166. The sun sets shortly before 7 p.m. in South Florida, meaning it was likely dark on the turnpike around the time of the incident. A woman and a man, who remains unidentified in reports, apparently got a flat tire while driving north and pulled onto the shoulder. The pair got out of their vehicle and began tending to the tire, sources indicate.

As the two were working on the car, a white semi-truck, believed to be a Peterbilt tractor with a flatbed trailer attached, approached the scene. The semi allegedly hit the couple and fled the scene following the accident. Police say the semi-truck likely sustained damage to its right front during the crash. It is not clear whether police have any leads.

St. Lucie County is among South Florida’s bigger counties and, as a result, is host to a number of busy roadways like the Florida Turnpike. According to records by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 2,210 crashes in St. Lucie County in 2010, which resulted in 29 fatalities and 1,887 injuries. The number of crashes was down from the previous year, during which 2,336 reported crashes took place.

Of course, St. Lucie County is not unique in this regard: any populated area is at risk for traffic accidents. Earlier this year, 18-year-old Pembroke Pines resident Alejandro Giannattasio caused a chain reaction when he allegedly drove through a red light and struck a tow truck driven by Alexis Acosta, which then slammed into a car driven by Barbara Destine, sources report. Sadly, Giannattasio, 18, died after the crash. Destine, 46, and Acosta, 38, sustained less serious injuries and were taken to the Memorial Hospital. It is unclear whether an investigation is still open. No charges appear to have been filed.

Reports say the crash happened around 11 a.m. at the red light at the intersection of Pembroke Road and 172nd Avenue. Giannattasio was westbound on Pembroke Road in a black Mazda when he ran the light and collided with Acosta’s tow truck, sources allege. The press did not say whether speed or a possible distraction played a role in the accident.

The force of the collision sent the tow truck barreling into Destine’s Honda Accord, reports say. Giannattasio sustained head injuries and was rushed to the Memorial Regional Hospital; he was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival. Destine and Acosta sustained non-lethal injuries and were taken to the Memorial Hospital as well.

Sources: 10.8.13 Fort Pierce Crash.pdf, FLHSMV Crash Statistics – Fort Pierce Crash.pdf, 10.9.13 Giannattasio Crash.pdf.

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