NewsRegion St Lucie County


Dangerous, deadly Christmas on Florida roads

Posted at 11:32 PM, Dec 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-26 04:18:28-05

The roads have proven to be dangerous this holiday season in our area, with nearly a dozen deaths in one week.

Investigators with the Florida Highway Patrol have responded to nearly ten crashes or pedestrian accidents with cars in Palm Beach County, the Treasure Coast and Highlands County.

Some of those crashes were hit and runs. Six people died on Christmas Day.

Investigators said four people died in a head on crash in Highlands County. One of the vehicles involved caught on fire after rolling into a ditch. One of four victims in that crash was from Port St. Lucie.

Also on Christmas, investigators said two people were killed in a rollover crash on I-95 near Gateway Boulevard.

As the busy driving season continues through the holidays, the Florida Highway Patrol is urging people to drive carefully.

At the Turnpike Service Plaza in St. Lucie County, drivers were heading home from their holiday destinations, and reported smooth traffic at night.

“I only saw a crash on the way down to Miami,” said driver Rafael Manzano, returning home to the Orlando area.

Manzano had to hit the road Christmas night.

“I actually work tomorrow so I want to get home safely and be ready in the morning.”

He’s staying alert.

“Try not to speed, follow the cars, don’t switch lanes too much.”

Sam Zeidel also had to head home Christmas night.

“I have to work tomorrow.”

She used the same caution on the roads.

“I’m already pretty alert as a previous victim of a crash. I’ve see what happens when people aren’t careful,” Zeidel said.

The Florida Highway Patrol expects the day after Christmas to be the busiest travel day, with Florida’s roads being some of the busiest in the country.

Drivers taking the Turnpike can get a free cup of coffee at some Turnpike Service Plazas between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Christmas night, the day after Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.