An Ocala, Florida car accident sent seven family members to the hospital on Wednesday, according to news reports. Although the victims’ names have not been released to the public as of yet, sources indicate that they are members of a family and included two young children, three teenagers, and two women. The conditions of the victims, five of who are recovering at Shands Hospital (University of Florida in Gainesville) and the remainder of who are at Munroe Regional Medical Center, are not known. No charges have been filed as the Florida Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash
The accident apparently occurred yesterday on Interstate 75 near exit 326. The family traveled from Tennessee was on its way to Disney World in a Lincoln Town Car when the crash took place, according to the media. While driving on Interstate 75, one of the tires on the Towncar blew, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. It is not clear whether defective manufacturing may have caused the tire to blow; the make and model of the tire are not publicly known.
After the tire exploded, the Town Car spun out and rolled off the highway. It ended up turning over completely three times before landing upside down in a depression near the highway. Luckily, no one in the car was killed, and no other vehicles were caught up in the accident. The victims were taken from the crash site to their respective hospitals. All sustained non-life threatening injuries, sources indicate. It is not clear whether the family will still be able to make it to Disney World. Disney has not commented on the crash.
Florida roadways provide the stage for a lot of activity – some accidental, some allegedly criminal. One Floridian who has found himself on the wrong side of the Florida Highway Patrol four times for driving intoxicated was arrested yet again this week in Cooper City. Leonard Brice Hargadon, 46, is being held at Broward County Jail on $75,050 on a fifth DUI charge. It is not clear whether he has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
Press reports indicate that at Hargadon’s repeated offenses have left law enforcement at a loss. At Hargadon’s hearing, the Broward County Judge told the defendant, “the court doesn’t know what to do. Should the court put a ball and chain around your ankle? The court really is at a loss at how to keep you from driving.” It is not clear how Hargadon responded to this.
Hargadon has been arrested five times for driving under the influence within the last 22 years, according to news reports. He was charged twice in Broward County and once each in Lee and Monroe counties. His license has reportedly been revoked for the offenses, but deputies say that has not stopped Hargadon from driving drunk.
The most recent case, which occurred on July 15, apparently started when witnesses called 911 after seeing Hargadon standing outside of his crashed Ford F-150, clutching his chest. This happened at 8:30 p.m. on July 15, sources indicate. It is not clear what Hargadon crashed his car into, but it does not appear as though another vehicle or person was involved in the crash.