Katara Simmons/News-Sun Sebring Fire and Rescue personnel stand by a Ford Focus that was flipped at least four feet into the air, according to witnesses, during a fatal wreck Thursday on U.S. 27. Witnesses said the driver attempted to turn left at Lake Jackson Condos and was hit in the side by a Jaguar, sending it flying. Sebring Police Cmdr. Steve Carr said there was one fatality from the Ford, but he didn't expect officers to complete their investigation and file a full report on the wreck until today.
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published: Thursday, October 31, 2013
One killed in four-car crash on U.S. 27
By PHIL ATTINGER
SEBRING -- An occupant of a silver Ford Focus died Thursday in a four-car wreck on U.S. 27.
Allegedly, the driver was attempting a left turn on U.S. 27 in front of southbound traffic.
"It happened so fast. Whoever it was who came through the turn lane (just) didn't slow down," said Judd Berkey of Sebring.
Berkey was southbound on U.S. 27 with his wife, Celeste, in a dark blue Nissan Altima just south of Flare Road in Sebring. They were right behind other cars that got caught up in the four-car collision when a silver Jaguar hit the Focus and flipped it up in the air.
The Berkeys swerved toward the entrance of the Lake Jackson Condos to avoid the wreck and barely missed hitting the Focus when it landed in that same driveway.
"It was surreal the second it happened," Judd Berkey said.
Sebring Police Cmdr. Steve Carr confirmed Thursday afternoon that there was one fatality in the wreck, but said he couldn't confirm how the wreck occurred or very many other details other than it took place at or just before 12:57 p.m. and involved four cars.
He also said police were turning back southbound traffic at Flare Road until officers finished the investigation, and hoped to have a full report on the wreck by today.
Rick Woodham, Batteries Plus store manager in Sebring, was northbound at the time of the wreck. He didn't see it happen, but stopped in the turn lane and ran to the Focus to help, he said.
"The woman was unconscious. The gentleman was ... worse," Woodham said after a pause. "It was very bloody."
He estimated their ages at mid-50s.
Woodham said he'd seen bad wrecks from living in Tampa -- including a decapitated motorcyclist -- and said this one was bad.
He said the driver of the Jaguar was trying to get out of the car, but he had him stay in the car.
In addition to the Jaguar and Ford, the wreck also involved a red Chrysler Town & Country minivan and a black Nissan Altima, both of which sustained front-end damage.
Woodham said there were two elderly women in the van, both of which were tended to by emergency personnel. The occupants of the Altima seemed fine, he said.
Woodham said he was familiar with rendering aid from his mother being a certified nurse practitioner, but also said he didn't give first aid or attempt to do so. Emergency Medical Services and Sebring Fire and Rescue arrived almost immediately -- within 60 seconds or less, he said.
"The response time was quick," he said.
Tragedy (by: ausable resident - 11/13/2013)
I can't believe the conversation that has come up on here, first of all I am family, this has been a terrible loss, we now have a daughter without her parents and a very young child with out his grandparents and someone has the nerve to refer to them as snowbirds, well let me tell you it takes great experience to drive in snow and they have lived all of their lives in the north country and have never had an accident, lets lay the blame where it should be all because someone thinks that where they need to be is so important that they should drive fast! well I hope he feel real good being a doctor who should be helping people and saving lives..... there is nothing in this world more important than someone's life, it was senseless and should not have happened. Now while people are speculating and pointing blame there is a family and a community trying to heal and come to some kind of terms with such a loss..... They were great people who gave so much to others in a time of need!
Just the facts (by: AP Resident - 11/6/2013)
I don't believe this has anything to do with snowbirds. The silver car that did not slow down and that crashed into the Ford Focus was not a snowbird.
Response Time (by: Rick W. - 11/5/2013)
Accident (by: Kent Steele - 11/1/2013)
A sure sign the snowbirds are back.
car accidenr (by: bob - 10/31/2013)
no way could ems and or fire service be there in 60 seconds, impossible unless they were driving by, by the time a call is made and then dispatch, travel time alone had to be minutes
Wreck (by: Wreck Involvement Person - 10/31/2013)
Yes, they were right. The accident happened so quickly. My car was on of the ones in the accident. I am so thankful that I am okay and Everyone else involved are in my prayers.
Fatality (by: Gary Wealthgrass - 10/31/2013)
Just wanted to say it's kind of well... "Skeezy" journalism when you're adding the gentleman's details to what, gain readers? Those people were family and friend's to others. Respect that they WILL be reading this. In the meantime, It's hard to gain respect from your reader's when you certainly don't show a thread of it. Thanks~ GW
Crossovers on RT27 (by: J.R.Tefft - 10/31/2013)
When will this City, County, State, learn that crossovers on a 6 lane highway are nothing but a Death Trap. Close off the crossovers and save lives !!
auto wreck (by: Julie Pearce - 10/31/2013)
I was involved in a wreck on us 27 exiting mid florida by highlands regional last wed.I had the green light to go.North and south bound traffic all stopped. I exicuted my left turn to go north. Suddenly to my left I see a truck speeding towerds me from an emty lane. Thank Gid I gave it the gas to try and get out of his way or I would have been hit in the drivers door.The impact was to the passenger door.spun my suv180degrees.I had my Eight year old grandson with me. Thank God for air bags and seat belts.he was unhurt but traumatized.I have chest contusions and bruises.we just lost my grandaughter less than 2 years ago in accident.The man 86said he did not know if the light was green or red.Far to many wrecks occur on 27through a highly conjested area. I really think the speed limit should be lowered.
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