Andrew Townsend of Pierson, Florida was killed in a three-vehicle accident on Wednesday, sources indicate. Townsend, 35, died from his injuries at Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach shortly after the accident. Drivers Ramiro Mancilla, 33, and Fiorentino Villanueva, 42, were also involved; Mancilla was not injured, but Villanueva (who the Florida Highway Patrol blames for causing the accident) sustained serious injures. Charges are pending against Villanueva as authorities work to wrap up an investigation into the accident. It is not known whether Villanueva has retained a private criminal defense lawyer.
News sources indicate that the truck crash occurred at around 2:35 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 17 and East Fourth Avenue. At the time, Villanueva was driving a 2003 GMC box truck loaded with watermelons and Townsend was driving a red Ford F350 pickup truck holding frozen fish and chicken. Mancilla was driving an unladen 1995 Toyota Camry.
The trouble began when Mancilla, who was driving on U.S. 17 with Villanueva close behind, slowed down to turn left onto East Fourth Avenue. For unknown reasons, Villanueva was unable to stop and rear-ended the Camry. The impact of the crash shoved the Camry onto the other side of the road, where it hit the driver’s side of Townsend’s Ford.
Miraculously, Mancilla escaped injury. Villanueva was sent to Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach, where he is being treated for serious injuries. An update on his status is not available. None of the vehicles contained passengers, so no one else was hurt in the accident, although both sides of U.S. 17 had to be closed for several hours to allow for cleanup and an investigation.
Townsend was not the only person to lose his life of Florida roadways this week. In Tampa, Florida a few days ago, a yet unidentified motorcyclist and a female passenger were killed when the motorcycle they were riding was hit by a truck. The truck’s driver, 47-year-old David Shawn Colby, and his unnamed passenger were not hurt in the accident. Investigators apparently believe that the motorcyclist may have caused the accident by running a red light. No charges have yet been filed as Florida Highway Patrol officials continue to investigate the crash.
Sources indicate that the motorcyclist was from Plant City, Florida, and was 35 years old. His name and the name of his passenger have not been released because the FHP needs to inform family members of the death before announcing it to the general public. It is not known when the names will be released.
The crash reportedly occurred at the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and McIntosh Road in Hillsborough County at around 1:22 in the morning. Colby was driving his 2005 Dodge pickup truck on Martin Luther King Boulevard through a green light. The motorcyclist, who was traveling on McIntosh Road, allegedly ran a red light, cutting to truck off. Colby was unable to stop and ended up striking the motorcycle.
The collision sent both vehicles spinning off of the read and into a traffic control box. The truck flipped over, while both the motorcyclist and his passenger were thrown from the motorcycle. Both motorcyclist and passenger died at the scene. It is not clear whether they were wearing helmets.