18-Year Old Killed Rear Ending Dump Truck in Ocala

Two teenagers were killed in Ocala following a crash, Tuesday, January 12, 2010 when the BMW they were riding in collided with the rear of a dump truck. The driver of the 1987 BMW 325i was traveling at a high rate of speed, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, when he topped a hill on Northwest 100th Street, near North U.S. 441, and crashed into the rear of a Mack Granite dump truck. His passenger died an hour after the crash. The driver died on Thursday. Both teens were 18-years-old and both were seniors at North Marion High School. The dump truck driver received minor injuries.

Seat belts were in use at the time of the accident.

Our hearts go out to the families of these two young men who were best friends. The driver’s father says his son never drank or smoked and was a good son. We are sorry for your loss.

An investigation needs to determine just how fast that dump truck was traveling when the collision occurred. The FHP says that the truck was slowing for road work and that there were numerous signs along the hilly street to indicate road work was ahead. An investigation needs to confirm that information.

If there were not adequate warning signs posted behind that working dump truck, the company responsible as well as Marion County could be liable.

An investigation can determine if there was enough time to reasonably be able to stop from the crest of the hill where the truck would be visible to the dump truck. I would also like to know what speed the young driver was traveling at the time, and whether speed made him unable to stop considering the distance once he topped the hill. His father says even if you are traveling at 35 mph there is no visibility on the hill, which has a blind driveway sign on it. Visibility is zero, “It’s really, really dangerous,” he says.

Ironically both young men wanted to work for the county.

Teenage Drivers In Florida
Drivers 15-to-19 years of age had the highest rate per 10,000 licensed drivers of crash involvement (399.04) in 2008 according to FHP statistics just released for that year.

The only good news in those statistics is that fatalities of teen drivers and passengers decreased from 2007 by 22.5% from 249 to 193 in 2008.

It sounds as though there could be a standoff here. The county engineer says the county did everything properly by placing a flag station in place and advanced warning signs coming into the work zone.

Source reports: http://www.ocala.com/article/20100112/ARTICLES/100119945?Title=Update-Teen-killed-driver-hurt-in-crash-with-dump-truck; http://www.ocala.com/article/20100115/ARTICLES/100119808/1402/NEWS?Title=Grieving-families-plan-funerals-for-teens-who-died-in-crash