Ocala, Florida — On May 18, 2014, at approximately 9:25 p.m., there was a multiple vehicle crash southbound on I-75, mile marker 345.
Florida Highway Patrol trooper Raul J. Umana, 20, was traveling northbound on I-75 in the inside lane. Trooper Umana was driving a 2007 marked FHP patrol car.
A 2014 Nissan Altima, driven by Christeia T. Jones, 28, was traveling southbound on I-75 in the inside lane. Jones’ three children, Logan Grant, 2, Lanard Maybin, 5, and Denard Maybin Jr.,7, were also in the vehicle.
Also traveling southbound on I-75 in the center lane was a 2011 Mercedes driven by Terry Scanes, 50, and a 1997 Peterbilt semi-tractor trailer driven by William Richmond, 73. Scanes was driving in front of Richmond.
Trooper Umana was attempting to make a u-turn in the center median when he lost control of his patrol car and struck the guardrail, causing his vehicle to be redirected into the inside, southbound lane, of I-75. Jones’ Altima then slammed into the front-end of Trooper Umana’s patrol car with the front of her vehicle. Jones’ Altima was then redirected and collided with Scanes’ Mercedes, causing Scanes to be propelled into the center median. Scanes smashed into the center guardrail prior to coming to final rest.
Jones’ Altima then continued into Richmond’s lane of travel. The front-end of Richmond’s tractor trailer then slammed into the rear of Jones’ Altima, which caused Both Jones and Richmond to veer off the roadway and onto the west shoulder where they both came to final rest.
The engine compartment of Jones’ vehicle caught fire and was subsequently extinguished prior to entering the occupant area of the vehicle.
All three children were airlifted to U.F. Health Shands via life flight, where they are listed in critical condition. Two of the children, Lanard and Denard, were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident, according to reports. The children’s mom was also transported to U.F. Shands where she is listed in serious condition.
Trooper Umana, Scanes, and Richmond were transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
The southbound lanes of I-75 were closed for approximately six hours. A combined total in property damage is estimated at approximately $38,000.
This is the second serious crash in less than three weeks to occur on I-75 in Ocala.
[Updated on May 19, 2014 at 7:40 p.m.]
The mom, Christeia T. Jones, 28, has been released from the hospital. An update on the condition of the children has not been released.
The investigation is ongoing.