Vacationing woman dies after accident with 15-year-old driver

A 77-year-old woman was vacationing in Florida last week so that she could attend her grandson’s high school graduation. But what began as a family celebration turned into a family tragedy.

The woman died in a car accident on U.S. Highway 98 near Edgewood Drive. The woman was riding as a passenger in a vehicle driven by her son when a Dodge Durango driven by a 15-year-old girl, who had no one else riding in the vehicle with her, pulled out from Edgewood Drive, where there was a stop sign.

The elderly woman apparently saw the girl pull out first, saying, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh.” Her son, however, could not avoid colliding with the Durango. After the crash, their vehicle was apparently pushed into the path of a third vehicle. The engine of their car then apparently caught fire.

The woman was taken to Gulf Breeze Hospital and was pronounced dead. Her son and the driver of the Durango were also taken there for minor injuries. The driver of the third vehicle was uninjured.

This accident raises two important issues. First, the importance of teenager driving having adults in the car when they have a learner’s permit. The girl’s permit required that someone over 21 be riding in the car with her, but no one was. If someone had been, the accident may have been prevented.

Secondly, there’s the issue of whether a traffic light should be installed at the intersection where the crash took place. The woman’s son says the busy intersection is “a recipe for disaster. A $50,000 light would save a life.”

Source: Pensacola News Journal, Girl, 15, driving alone in crash that killed 77-year-old woman on U.S. 98 Kimberly Blair, June 2, 2012