Nerin Palma-Velasquez and three firefighters were injured in a Lake Worth, Florida fire engine collision on Saturday, news sources report. Velasquez, 22, sustained critical injuries in the collision and was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. Information regarding the three firefighters’ identities was not immediately available following the crash; the trio reportedly sustained minor injuries. Police are currently conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the accident. It is unclear whether Velasquez will be cited for failing to yield for an emergency vehicle.
According to reports, the accident occurred around 12:30 Saturday afternoon at the intersection of Lucerne Avenue and North Dixie Highway in Lake Worth. Fire Engine 91 was responding to a fire in the 700 block of South E Street at the time. Reports say the fire truck was westbound on Lucerne Avenue with its sirens and lights on. Meanwhile, Velasquez was heading north on Dixie Highway in his Honda Accord.
At the intersection, sources say Velasquez had the green light and failed to stop for the fire truck as it crossed the intersection. Velasquez ended up crashing into the side of the fire truck, reports indicate.
Paramedics loaded Velasquez onto the Trauma Hawk helicopter and flew him to the Delray Trauma Center. His condition remained critical throughout the day. Three firefighters sustained minor injuries in the accident; paramedics took two of them to the JFK Medical Center, while the third was treated at the scene. Another fire engine responded to the burning house and extinguished the flames, a fire department spokesperson said. It is not known whether anyone was injured in the fire.
In other news, Terrence Hunter backed into and killed Ethan V. Estrada in a Port Charlotte accident on Tuesday, reports say. Hunter, 62, of Ontario, Canada accidentally backed into Estrada while exiting his driveway. Estrada, 7, was pronounced dead after being rushed to a nearby hospital. The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the accident and has not said whether they intend to seek legal action.
Reports say Estrada’s father is Charlotte County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Estrada. When asked for a statement following the accident, Kevin Estrada said, “Our family has suffered a tragic loss. We ask that everyone please respect our privacy during our time of grief.”
The accident occurred around 5:15 Tuesday evening at a Hunter’s residence on Ackerman Avenue. Hunter was backing out of his garage when his 2009 Hyundai Sonata’s front-left tire struck and rolled over Estrada. It is not clear from reports whether Hunter and Estrada are neighbors.
Paramedics rushed Estrada to Peace River Regional Medical Center following the crash. Tragically, doctors were unable to resuscitate the boy and he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the medical center. According to reports, the FHP is currently looking into the accident and has not said whether they plan to charge or cite Hunter for the fatal accident.
Following the accident, a spokesperson for the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office expressed his condolences, saying, “No parent should have to endure the loss of a child. Our condolences go out to Kevin and Melissa. Their loss is a loss to our entire Sheriff’s Office family.”