Tire blow out causes fatal accident on Florida Turnpike

STUART, Fla. - MARTIN COUNTY — The three people who died after being ejected from a sport utility vehicle during a Sunday crash on Florida's Turnpike were identified as children ranging from 1 to 12 years old, according to a Florida Highway Patrol release.

The crash that left Stephaune Sean Hansen, 1, Steve Hansen Jr., 11, and a 12-year-old girl dead happened at 6:45 p.m. Sunday when the right rear tire of a 1998 Ford Explorer they were riding in had a blowout. Troopers said Sunday night one of those dead was an adult.

Steveroy Hansen, 40, was driving the Ford Explorer south on the turnpike six miles south of the Stuart exit, and may have been en route to Coral Springs. Abigail Hansen, 8, and 14-year-old Olivia Scott also were in the vehicle.

After the blowout, the Ford Explorer struck a wall and began to overturn as it traveled back into the southbound lanes. As the vehicle rolled over, it struck a southbound 2002 Toyota Highlander. When the Ford Explorer hit the wall, debris hit a northbound 2001 Ford Escape.

The three children who died were thrown from the Ford Explorer. The release indicates it wasn't known whether any of those in the Ford Explorer were wearing seat belts or were properly restrained. FHP officials haven't been able to identify family members of the 12-year-old girl who died.

Steveroy Hansen and Abigail Hansen sustained "incapacitating" injuries, while Scott's were described as "non-incapacitating."

The drivers of the Toyota Highlander and Ford Escape were wearing seat belts. The Highlander driver, a 39-year-old woman, sustained "possible" injuries, while the Escape driver, a 50-year-old woman, sustained injuries described as "non-incapacitating."

Lt. Tim Frith, FHP spokesman, said via e-mail Monday that investigators at this time don't know the relationship between those in the Ford Explorer. A driver's license and plate on the vehicle indicate they might have been traveling to Broward County.

The crash closed northbound lanes of the turnpike for more than two hours and southbound lanes for more than four hours.

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