RIVERVIEW, Fla. — Tragedy struck on Wednesday afternoon as a multi-vehicle crash on southbound Interstate 75 in Riverview, Florida, resulted in the deaths of four people, including two young boys. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the fatalities, which included a father, mother, son, and the boy’s 14-year-old cousin.
The fatal crash occurred just after 3 p.m. on I-75 South, near the Selmon Expressway. Florida Highway Patrol reported that two pickup trucks traveling in adjacent lanes collided when one truck attempted to switch lanes, causing both vehicles to spin out. The first truck, carrying the family, landed in the grass median, ejecting all four occupants.
Tragically, the 36-year-old male driver, a 34-year-old female passenger, and their 12-year-old son, all from Clearwater, lost their lives in the crash. The boy’s 14-year-old cousin, visiting from Texas, succumbed to injuries at the hospital. FHP confirmed that none of the occupants in the first truck were wearing seatbelts.
In contrast, the driver of the second truck and the two young children riding in the back emerged unscathed, as their vehicle came to a controlled stop in the inside emergency lane. FHP verified that they were all wearing seatbelts, highlighting the life-saving importance of this safety measure.
The tragic outcome of this devastating crash serves as a sobering reminder of the vital role seatbelt usage plays in preventing and minimizing the impact of vehicular accidents. The roadway was temporarily closed as authorities responded to the scene, but has since reopened.
In 2022, Florida recorded 85 child passenger fatalities in vehicle crashes, with almost half of the victims not wearing any type of restraint, according to data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. This underscores the critical need for stringent adherence to seatbelt laws and safety measures to prevent further loss of life on our roadways.