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Seven kids from the same family killed in crash

Old 01-25-06, 10:36 PM
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Seven kids from the same family killed in crash

LAKE BUTLER, Fla. - Seven children who had been adopted by a single family were killed Wednesday in a fiery crash when their car was crushed between a truck and a stopped school bus in rural northern Florida.

The children, ranging in age from 15 years to 21 months, were headed toward their home about two miles north of the crash site. The truck hit them from behind, pushing their car into the bus and causing the car to burst into flames, police said.

Everyone in the car was killed, including the 15-year-old girl who was driving illegally. All of the youngsters had been adopted by the same family and lived together, police said.

It was unclear why the children were unaccompanied.

Evidence from the scene showed that the truck, which was carrying bottled water, did not brake before hitting the car on the two-lane road, said Lt. Mike Burroughs of the Florida Highway Patrol.

The bus ended up 200 feet from where the car struck it, and the cab of the truck lay overturned near the scene, Burroughs said. The bus was at an approved bus stop, but it was not immediately clear whether children were getting on or off.

Its a very chaotic scene, Burroughs said. Its just a mangled, charred mess.
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Old 01-25-06, 10:50 PM
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yikes... sad
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Old 01-25-06, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Premise
The bus ended up 200 feet from where the car struck it, and the cab of the truck lay overturned near the scene, Burroughs said.
A) How fast do you have to be going for that too happen? and B) How do you even brake at all before slamming into a car that stopped behind a bus? Even if you missed the parked car, you'd think a big yellow school bus might have been a clue to slow down.
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Old 01-25-06, 11:02 PM
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I read this earlier, how tragic.
Especially since the driver must have been the fifteen year old and shouldn't have even been there.
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Old 01-25-06, 11:04 PM
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Driving illegal huh? Oh well.
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Old 01-25-06, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
Driving illegal huh? Oh well.
Did you even read the article? It wasn't the illegal driver's fault.

If an adult had been driving, the only difference would be that 8 people from the same family would have died instead of seven.
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Old 01-25-06, 11:54 PM
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Was the last name Kennedy by chance?
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Old 01-26-06, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy517
Did you even read the article? It wasn't the illegal driver's fault.

If an adult had been driving, the only difference would be that 8 people from the same family would have died instead of seven.
A more experienced driver might have noticed the oncoming semi in the rearview mirror and have been able to pull away in time, but then the semi would have hit the bus.
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Old 01-26-06, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by NitroJMS
A more experienced driver might have noticed the oncoming semi in the rearview mirror and have been able to pull away in time, but then the semi would have hit the bus.
Objection. Speculation.
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Old 01-26-06, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Premise

The bus ended up 200 feet from where the car struck it,...(

!!!!! Did i read that right? Was the car doing mach 3?
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Old 01-26-06, 01:32 AM
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Originally Posted by NitroJMS
A more experienced driver might have noticed the oncoming semi in the rearview mirror and have been able to pull away in time, but then the semi would have hit the bus.
The semi was going fast enough to push the bus 200 feet and the car was stopped. Your speculation seems like a huge reach.
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Old 01-26-06, 08:03 AM
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More on the story...


NORTH FLORIDA
Fiery crash kills 7 children
A tractor-trailer crashed into a car and a school bus near Lake Butler, killing seven and injuring at least 11, two critically.
BY PHIL LONG AND ROBERT L. STEINBACK
[email protected]

LAKE BUTLER - Seven children, all believed to be members of one extended family, were killed on a Union County two-lane highway Wednesday afternoon when a tractor-trailer rear-ended their vehicle, causing it to explode into flames, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

Their green Pontiac Bonneville was crushed between the semi and a Union County School District bus carrying nine students home from school, which had paused at a school bus stop, said Florida Highway Patrol spokeswoman Kim Miller.

The seven children, 20 months to 15 years old, were the only occupants in the Pontiac.

Nine children aboard the bus, the bus driver and the driver of the tractor-trailer also were injured and taken to area hospitals. According to the Associated Press, two children were in critical condition and three children were in serious condition.

All three vehicles were headed northbound on State Road 121 around 3:40 p.m. when the school bus stopped near Southwest 75th Lane, about four miles south of Lake Butler, FHP's Miller said. The Pontiac stopped behind the bus.

''A semi traveling northbound comes along and strikes the rear of the green Pontiac and sandwiches it between the semi and the school bus,'' Miller said. ``The car burst into flames.''

Union County resident Chad White, 34, who lives about 200 yards from the site, heard the crash. He went to the scene and found a number of children wandering or lying on the ground near the bus. A little girl about 5, crying for her mother, was with an older boy who was trying to comfort her despite his own injuries, White said.

Further down the road, White saw a burning mass he initially thought was a fuel tank from the tractor-trailer.

''I couldn't recognize that it was even a vehicle,'' White said.

He grabbed a fire extinguisher from the school bus and ran toward the blaze, but it proved of little use.

When he returned to the bus, White said witnesses were trying to free a student who apparently was pinned between a rear seat and the bus frame.

FHP spokesman Lt. William Leeper identified the deceased children as Cynthia Nicole Mann, 15; Elizabeth Mann, 15; Johnny Mann, 13; Heaven Mann, 3; Anthony Lamb, 20 months; Ashley Keen, 14; and Miranda Sinn, 10. Relatives told FHP investigators that the seven were all related, though FHP couldn't confirm the exact relationships.

It was not clear Wednesday evening who was driving the Pontiac, FHP's Miller said. According to Florida law, a 15-year-old can only drive legally with a learner's permit if accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older, Miller said. Even though the driver of the Pontiac was underage, that did not appear to contribute to the accident, she said.

The truck was driven by Alvin Eugene Wilkerson, 31, of Jacksonville. The cab of the tractor-trailer carried the name Crete Trucking Co., while the trailer bore the name CCC Trucking, Miller said. FHP had not yet conclusively determined the ownership of the cab and trailer, she said.

FHP identified the bus driver as Lillie Mae Perry.

Union County Schools official Anita Andrews didn't know the names or ages of the injured students on the bus, adding that they could have come from any of the county's three schools -- one elementary, one middle, and one high school.

The accident occurred in clear weather on a straight stretch of two-lane highway where the speed limit is 60 mph between Lake Butler and Dukes, about 25 miles north of Gainesville.

The area is abundant with pine trees and sprinkled with single-family homes and mobile homes.

The state Department of Transportation's Motor Carrier Compliance office will participate in the investigation by examining the truck's condition, Miller said.

Also, the National Transportation Safety Board, which probes any vehicular accident resulting in five or more deaths, will send investigators, she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Old 01-26-06, 08:15 AM
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Tragic.

As for the illegal driver is concerned (which seems irrelevant to the crash), I wonder why a group of children are out driving around, with an infant, no less. Of course, this is the rural South we're talking about. Somehow I don't imagine that it is all that unusual of an occurrence.
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Old 01-26-06, 08:44 AM
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She was probably being a dutiful daughter, and picking up the children from school and day care.

I hope no one ever lets the driver of the truck get behind the wheel again! Hitting a school bus on a clear day, and a straight stretch of road?! Even with brake failure, he could have headed for the ditch.
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Old 01-26-06, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Numanoid
Tragic.

As for the illegal driver is concerned (which seems irrelevant to the crash), I wonder why a group of children are out driving around, with an infant, no less. Of course, this is the rural South we're talking about. Somehow I don't imagine that it is all that unusual of an occurrence.

my first thought too - what parent(s) would allow a 15 year old without a license to be driving around their infants?

but terrible news...just terrible
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Old 01-26-06, 09:14 AM
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It's possible that the 15 year old girl was a competent driver, with years of experience. Many children learn to drive on the farm at an early age.

It is entirely possible that her parents trusted her to pick up the children because she WAS trustworthy. Just because most American 15 year olds are fluffheads doesn't mean they all are.

I don't see why everyone is focused on the driver of the car, when the driver of the TRUCK, who was 37, did something so outrageous. The driver of the car was doing the right thing; stopping for a school bus unloading children.

And, no an older driver can not be argued to be more likely to have seen and done something about the situation. Most people stopped for a bus look at the bus, to see when they can go again, not in their rear-view mirror.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:03 AM
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CNN is now reporting that the grandfather to the children died of a massive heart attack when he heard the news.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by lordwow
CNN is now reporting that the grandfather to the children died of a massive heart attack when he heard the news.
I can't even imagine what this poor family is going through right now.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:18 AM
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Wow.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
It's possible that the 15 year old girl was a competent driver, with years of experience... Just because most American 15 year olds are fluffheads doesn't mean they all are.
The kids should not have been out on the road. Yes the truck driver is responsible, but so are the parents of the kids. In most states its against the law to be behind the wheel of a vehicle, not accompanied by an adult, when you are under 16.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by retihsuhnt
The kids should not have been out on the road. Yes the truck driver is responsible, but so are the parents of the kids. In most states its against the law to be behind the wheel of a vehicle, not accompanied by an adult, when you are under 16.
That doesn't even make sense. As Jeremy already mentioned, if there was an adult driving the kids instead of the teenager, there would just be an extra corpse. Her age and driving status are totally irrelevant here. She was not at fault in any way.

Another case of the victim at fault just for being there?

Last edited by Charlie Goose; 01-26-06 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs. Danger
I don't see why everyone is focused on the driver of the car, when the driver of the TRUCK, who was 37, did something so outrageous.
I'm sure we all agree about the truck driver, that goes without saying. It's just a shame knowing that if the family had obeyed the law, the car full of children would not have been there in the first place. Of course, then the bus would have taken the full force. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:40 AM
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All my East TX cousins learned to drive when they were much younger than 15. Not a big deal in the country.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:41 AM
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Okay I put the blame on three (3) seperate parties here, not just the teenage girl. All three (3) are responsible to varying degrees. If there was an "adult" in the car you dont think they would have attempted to avoid a collision?

There is something missing from this story and that is why was the fifteen year old driving. I'm assuming its similar to the mother recently arrested for leaving her kids at home in IL to go see a taping of the Springer show.
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Old 01-26-06, 10:54 AM
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My two cents

I'm the youngest of five. Big families usually depend on the oldest kids to help out more than they would if there were only two or three kids. Be that as it may, the family WAS breaking the law by allowing the eldest girl to drive without a licensed driver in the car.

A fifteen-year-old girl might be perfectly competent to drive a car, but not with six kids as passengers. Even an experienced driver in a properly-equipped vehicle like a minivan would find that a challenge, and this doesn't sound like a properly-equipped vehicle if there were seven kids crammed into it.

The adoptive mother must be going through absolute hell right now. My heart goes out to her -- and to the semi driver and bus driver too. They will probably never get over it.

Does anyone remember the car accident in North Carolina a few years back where a bunch of teenagers were killed? This one kind of reminds me of that.

Last edited by Vibiana; 01-26-06 at 10:58 AM.
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