• FHP: Tire tread separation caused Titusville crash that killed 4 children

    Updated:

    TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Four children were killed in a crash on I-95 in Titusville Monday evening, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

    The victims were identified as Amunya Cruz, 15, Jasmine Cruz, Nadia Cruz, 10, Niashia Cruz, 13.

    FHP said the four sisters were not wearing seat belts. 

    Despite the odds, a toddler who was thrown 30 feet over a barrier wall, suffered minor injuries and was in stable condition Tuesday, FHP said.

    Photos: Fatal I-95 crash in Titusville

    The crash, which happened in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 in Titusville at about 6:30 p.m. Monday, shut down the roadway as emergency personnel responded to the scene. 

    The Dodge Durango was driven by Latorya Brown, 34, of Leesburg, and was carrying 11 passengers, troopers said.

    FHP said a tire tread separation caused Brown to lose control of the SUV, which rolled over several times.

    "When it caught the grass, it maybe went 25 to 30 feet in the air, maybe more, and just spinning. I couldn’t tell you how many times we saw debris coming out of the car," said witness Rick Curry.

    Curry said he pulled over to help.

    “It was horrible, and being children, the parents were frantic and could not find the toddler, who they claim was in a car seat. He was eventually found on the other side of a 20- to 25-foot divider wall between I-95," said Curry.

    Four people were ejected from the SUV, including the toddler, troopers said.

    The toddler was found by emergency responders and was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, FHP said.

    “You are talking an act of God at this point to find somebody ejected and still alive to where our first responders were able to locate them.  It's a miracle,” said FHP Trooper Steven Montiero.

    Brown and the remaining seven passengers were also taken to the hospital, FHP said.

     “When you don't have your seat belt on, it’s a recipe for disaster. If something is going to go wrong, it’s going to go wrong because you are not wearing your seat belt," Montiero said.

    FHP said Brown will not be charged, but she could face some traffic citations.

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