Derek Adam Nelson of Miami Beach, Florida allegedly drunkenly crashed into Florida Highway Trooper Felecia A. Andrews’s patrol car while it was stopped at an accident site in December of last year, news sources report. The crash caused a chain reaction, causing a total of five cars to bump into each other and sending one ricocheting across I-95. Andrews sustained critical injuries in the crash.
Over six months later, new evidence has surfaced and an arrest has officially been made. Nelson, who also sustained critical injuries, was arrested on Monday on one count of driving under the influence of a chemical substance, contributing to the serious bodily injury to another; four counts of reckless driving, personal injury or property damage; four counts of DUI personal injury or damage; and one count of reckless driving resulting in serious bodily injury. It is unclear whether Nelson qualified for a set bail bond amount. Reports did not specify whether Nelson had obtained a criminal defense lawyer.
According to reports, the incident occurred at around 5 p.m. on December 28. Nelson was northbound in the emergency lane of Interstate 95 at the time. Nelson was driving under the influence, sources allege; an investigation purportedly showed that his Chevrolet Silverado pickup was going nearly 97 miles per hour when the crash occurred. Even before the accident, reports say Nelson was dangerously veering in and out of traffic, prompting fellow motorists to call police. An FHP trooper spotted Nelson vehicle and attempted to keep pace, reports indicate. Another trooper, who was helping a broken down tractor-trailer, reportedly noticed a loud noise that turned out to be Nelson’s tires rolling over the rumble strips of the emergency lane, reports say.
Trooper Andrews was parked in the emergency lane some distance ahead of Nelson. Andrews was parked behind three other vehicles that had reportedly been involved in a minor fender bender. Sources say Andrews’s police lights were on at the time. Nelson struck Andrew’s patrol car from behind while she was inside the vehicle, reports say. The force of the collision caused the patrol car to roll forward and collide with the parked car ahead of it, causing a chain reaction, sources say. The last vehicle in the chain, a Chevrolet Silverado pickup, was purportedly shoved across five lanes of traffic and into a tree.
Andrews was taken to the hospital following the accident. She was initially placed in critical condition, but has since been discharged. Reports say Andrews is still recovering at her home and has not yet been able to return to work. Nelson sustained serious injuries as well.
Police conducted an investigation following the incident and determined Nelson was under the influence when the crash occurred. During an investigation, they reportedly discovered that an event data recorder in his truck reportedly showed he was traveling in excess of 90 miles per hour shortly before the collision. Police arrested Nelson in Orlando on Monday, reports say. It was not immediately clear at press time whether anyone else was injured during the chain reaction of collisions. Reports also did not specify whether the victims had announced intentions to file for damages. However, Nelson and Andrew’s vehicles were both completely totaled during the crash, sources allege.
Sources: 7.30.13 Nelson Collision.pdf