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Florida Keys U.S. 1 Site of Many Serious Injury and Fatal Crashes

BFiCr.Em.56.JPG U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys has recently become the site of a number of fatal and serious injury accidents. Since March 1, more than a half dozen serious accidents have been reported from the 18-Mile Stretch that connects the Keys to the mainland down through Key Largo. These crashes have involved individuals from both South Florida and from as far away as Colorado.

On Tuesday morning, just after 7:00 a.m., sixty-seven-year-old James Hightower of Islamorada was driving northbound on U.S. 1’s inside lane in his 2004 Ford F-150. The Florida Highway Patrol stated that, for reasons yet to be determined, Hightower drove off the road at mile marker 99 and struck a traffic sign, bushes, and then crashed into a former KFC restaurant. Hightower was transported to Mariners Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Hightower became the seventh traffic fatality in the Keys this year.

Hightower’s crash occurred less than twelve hours after another crash near the same location. That crash ultimately led to the closing of the 18-Mile Stretch and the arrest of Lenna Danker, fifty-seven, of Homestead. Danker was involved in a hit-and-run at mile marker 99 Monday evening around 7:00 p.m. Apparently, Danker struck a 2013 Chrysler 300 with her 2012 Nissan Rogue SUV. Troopers say that fifteen minutes later, Danker made her way to mile marker 111 where she collided with the east concrete barrier wall. Her vehicle then overturned three times in a northerly direction. Danker was transported to Mariners Hospital and the stretch remained closed for about two hours.

Florida keys highway sees fresh spate of crashes, death, destruction, www.miamiherald.com March 21, 2013


Last week, on March 12, around 10:15 a.m., a Colorado motorcyclist died on the Seven Mile Bridge after he was thrown from his bike. Chris Leaf and Jim Luckeroth were riding their Harley-Davidsons north on the bridge when they attempted to use the southbound lane to pass cars in front of them. Luckeroth slowed down and Leaf was unable to stop in time. Leaf clipped the back of Luckeroth’s motorcycle, which caused his bike to fall on its side. Leaf was thrown onto the road. He was taken to a local hospital then airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where he was later pronounced dead.

On March 16, around 8:20 p.m., Rebecca Ucciardo, a twenty-two-year-old Jacksonville resident, was travelling south in the northbound lane on Long Key Bridge when the front end of her 2000 Chrysler struck the right side of Horatio Smith’s 1999 Toyota. Ucciardo’s car then struck the bridge wall and caught fire, but neither her nor her passenger were injured. Smith, a sixty-two-year-old Tamarac resident, lost control of his vehicle as it collided with the wall on both sides of the bridge, causing injuries to his passenger, Clara Samuels. This crash closed the bridge for nearly an hour. The Long Key Bridge was also the site of a five-car pileup on March 1 and a crash on March 8.

There are many roads throughout the United States and specifically the State of Florida that seem to constantly be the site for serious injury and fatal car and motorcycle accidents. Oftentimes, drivers that traverse these dangerous roads are unaware of how to handle the typical conditions present or simply fail to follow safe driving practices. The lives of many innocent individuals are changed forever because of these accidents. The South Florida automobile accident lawyers at the Friedland Law Group understand the pain and frustration that arises after accidents like the ones that have been occurring in the Florida Keys. The Coral Gables insurance litigation lawyers have over two decades of experience working to recover the most amount of compensation for your injuries. If you or someone you love has been injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident, call (305) 661-2008 today for your free consultation!

The Miami personal injury lawyers at the Friedland Law Group handle all types of car accidents throughout the state of Florida, including Boca Raton, Homestead, North Miami, South Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Hialeah, Kendall, Aventura, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. The Friedland Law Group handles all types of personal injury cases, including wrongful death, defective products, medical malpractice, slip and falls and construction site injuries. Call today and let our family take care of your family!