Carolyn Ramos of Port St. Lucie, Florida, is reportedly recovering after she allegedly struck a pickup truck after driving the wrong way on Interstate 95 on Sunday, according to reports. Ramos, 41, has not been charged as authorities continue to investigate the crash, which, sources indicate, may have involved the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is not clear whether Ramos has retained a private criminal defense lawyer to help her with any forthcoming charges. Likewise, it is not yet known whether family member of the victims plan on filing wrongful death suits.
According to news reports, the car accident occurred on northbound Interstate 95 near Martin Highway at approximately 2:19 a.m. on Sunday. Ramos allegedly drove her Jeep SUV onto the wrong side of the highway, running south in a northbound lane, until she collided head-on with a 1982 Chevrolet pickup truck. Police are not yet sure what caused Ramos to go the wrong way on the highway. “The events that led up to the crash are still under investigation, but the vehicles collided head-on and stopped within the inside lane of I-95,” a report by the Florida Highway Patrol reportedly details.
Because the investigation is still proceeding, it is not clear where Ramos entered the highway or how fast either vehicle was going when they collided. What is known is that both vehicles ended up bursting into flames upon impact. The truck reportedly contained a man, a woman, and two children. None survived the collision, as they were trapped inside of their burning vehicle. They were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
The names and ages of the victims have not yet been released as police work to identify them and inform relatives of the loss. It is possible that identification will take some time due to the damage from the fire. “[The vehicle is] crushed and [the victims] are totally burned up, so we’re waiting for the Tri-County people to come out and take it apart and determine exactly who is in the vehicle,” one Florida highway patrol trooper was quoted as telling the press at the scene.
Ramos was reportedly rescued from her vehicle by a witness, who stopped and pulled her from the burning jeep. Her rescuer, who has not been identified in reports, was purportedly injured and later transported to an area hospital for treatment. The mystery rescuer’s condition is not known. Ramos was apparently taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center and Heart Institute in Fort Pierce after the collision. She was described as in critical condition by news reports.
Although it is not yet known whether alcohol was a factor in this collision, the alleged perpetrators of drunk driving accidents are commonly prosecuted in South Florida. One suspected drunk driving accident that made major headlines recently was the one that killed Alanna DeMella, a seven-months pregnant woman who was visiting the area with her husband. The couple was reportedly taking a day to relax after attending a conference for Christian couples, which they had come from Medford, Massachusetts to attend. The DeMellas evidently won the trip in a contest sponsored by their church. Rosa Rivera Kim has since been charged with DUI manslaughter after police determined that her blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit when she allegedly crashed her car into a poolside cabana, killing DeMella. Her trial should begin shortly.