A Westside family is making funeral plans for a 19-year-old woman and her unborn baby who died in a collision between two pickup trucks Tuesday afternoon.
A pregnant 19-year-old was reportedly riding in the bed of the pickup truck traveling east on Normandy Boulevard, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. That’s when a late-model blue truck made an illegal turn into a mobile home park and collided with a red truck going west. The pregnant woman was riding in the back of the blue truck and was ejected when it turned in front of the other at the intersection with Parrish Cemetery Road. She was a quarter mile from their home. Today flowers mark the spot where the accident occurred.
The woman was seven months pregnant but the baby could not be saved. Fortunately, her one-year-old was in the truck in a car seat sitting next to the woman’s brother who threw himself over her during the collision. Neither was seriously hurt.
Our hearts go out to the family of this pregnant woman. There are many questions that go unanswered in media reports such as – was there a glare in the windshield of the truck? What were the road conditions at the time and was there rain? Were they speeding? Even 50 mph in a post 50 mph area in the rain is too fast for the conditions.
The Florida Highway Patrol says charges are pending.
Florida Statute 316.2015 says it is unlawful for a person to ride on the exterior of a vehicle, such as the bumper, fender, hood or truck of a car. And it is unlawful for the operator of a vehicle to allow a minor (under the age of 18) to ride within the open body of a pickup truck, unless the person is wearing a seat belt and sitting in secure seating.
So what the pregnant woman was doing was legal, since she was not a minor, and it was a convenience because it was a short ride. But if you are 19 and not 18, does it make it any safer? Of course not. Unfortunately, this collision and its aftermath at least provide a lesson on how to stay safe when riding in a pickup, even a quarter of a mile from home. Again our condolences go out to her friends and family.
Source reports: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/crime/2009-09-23/story/law_disorder_pregnant_woman_unborn_baby_die_in_crash; http://www.leg.state.fl.us/STATUTES/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0316/SEC2015.HTM&Title=-%3E2008-%3ECh0316-%3ESection%202015#0316.2015