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Traffic Accidents Florida

August 19, 1988 | MIKE DOWNEY, Times Staff Writer

They sit there in the stands, staring. The man on the springboard bounds up and down. Their eyes never leave him. Kathy Chuparkoff, 17, rubs 20-year-old Dawn Berrios’ shoulders, comforting her, because she knows that Dawn knows that the man on the springboard is the man who faces charges for driving under the influence in an accident that killed the boy Dawn was going to marry. Jennifer Beck, 17, also cannot remove her eyes from him.


Reached on his car phone for comment, the mayor was sarcastic. “I’m now at Pines and Flamingo,” Alex G. Fekete joked. “I’m waiting for an accident to happen.” Until this summer, if Pembroke Pines had any fame, it was as one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, a pleasant municipality of planned and gated communities, numerous parks and plentiful shopping. In the ’90s, enough new people piled in here to double the population, to 138,000.

April 10, 1994 | Associated Press

Former Cincinnati Bengal defensive back Lewis Billups, mired in legal troubles since leaving the NFL, died Saturday when the car he was driving on Interstate 4 spun out of control, police said. Billups was driving about 100 m.p.h. when the accident occurred. Also killed was Danny Green of Kissimmee, a passenger in the Corvette, police said. Billups, 30, died at Orlando Regional Medical Center after being thrown from his convertible in the 1 a.m. accident, Lt.

August 21, 1990 | ELLIOTT ALMOND

Chris Silva, a former UCLA swimmer who was the first black person to hold a U.S. swimming record, was killed Sunday when his car skidded out of control and hit a concrete bus bench in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. police said. He was 28. Silva, who was director of the minorities program for the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Florida, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police are investigating the accident in which Silva’s Ferrari Testarossa broke in two.

August 5, 1988 | Associated Press

Sheriff’s deputies found eight empty beer containers in the car of Olympic diver Bruce Kimball, who reportedly told investigators he began drinking about nine hours before he lost control of the automobile and ran through a group of teen-agers. Two people were killed and six were injured in the accident which, according to a scenario pieced together by the Tampa Tribune, capped a day that began with practice at the Brandon Tennis & Swim Center.


Chris Silva, the first black swimmer to meet Olympic trials time standards, was intoxicated Aug. 19 when he crashed a borrowed Ferrari and was killed in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. A spokeswoman at the Broward County Medical Examiner’s office in Ft. Lauderdale said Tuesday that the toxicology report showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.16%. In Florida, 0.10% constitutes legal intoxication; the limit is .08% in California.


Brian Williams, who has been trying to get his life and NBA career together since collapsing during a summer league basketball game six weeks ago, suffered a major setback Thursday in Orlando, Fla. Williams, the 1991 first-round pick of the Orlando Magic, blacked out and crashed his car into a concrete column of an overpass on his way to a workout, Magic officials said.

August 29, 1987 | Associated Press

A school bus carrying handicapped children was hit broadside by a tractor-trailer Friday at a rural intersection, killing six people and injuring 17, authorities said. The dead, all from the bus, were the driver, four boys and a girl, Levy County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Ola Crews said. The flatbed truck, loaded with large tires for logging vehicles, apparently ran a stop sign, said Florida Highway Patrol trooper Theresa Allen.

January 16, 2001 | Associated Press

Golfer Kim Williams was recovering Monday after suffering a broken collarbone and knee injury in a car wreck. Williams was injured Friday, hours after she shot a par 72 in the first round of the season-opening LPGA event at Grand Cypress Resort. She was driving on a two-lane road when an oncoming driver had a seizure, swerved into her lane and hit her head-on, police said. Williams, 37, was in stable condition at the Orlando Regional Medical Center after surgery Saturday on her right knee.

October 5, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports

A trailer truck loaded with dead alligators overturned and spilled its cargo on a busy highway near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. forcing police to close one lane while workers retrieved scattered gator carcasses. The truck was towing a refrigerated trailer carrying 26 alligator carcasses to a processing plant to be skinned and butchered, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Driver Robert Collins lost control when the trailer began to sway.

August 25, 2000 | From Times Wire Reports

A driver was arrested in connection with the Broward County accident that sent an 83-year-old woman’s car off a bridge and into a snake-infested swamp, where she lay for three days before being rescued. Scott Andrew Campbell, 21, of Hollywood, Fla. was charged with leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in injuries and filing a false police report. Police said Campbell rear-ended Tillie Tooter’s car on Aug. 12, sending it over a 40-foot-high bridge.


Who nearly killed Tillie Tooter? That’s the question state police officials sought to answer as they hunted Friday for the driver who rear-ended the 83-year-old grandmother, sending her car somersaulting over a highway guardrail and into a swampy ravine. There, pinned in the wreckage and hidden from passers-by, the feisty Tooter spent three days–catching rainwater to stay alive and preparing, finally, to face death.

August 16, 2000 | From Associated Press

An 83-year-old woman was found alive in her car Tuesday, three days after it crashed off a bridge into a snake-infested swamp. She told rescuers she was able to survive by collecting rainwater. Tillie Tooter’s car was discovered by a member of a road cleanup crew who noticed mashed-down trees beside the Interstate 595 bridge over the swamp and stopped to check. Justin Vannelli spotted her car 40 feet down. “I saw someone moving inside there, so I called the cops,” Vannelli said.

March 9, 2000 | From Associated Press

Twenty-four cars and trucks slammed into each other Wednesday in a pileup along a highway shrouded by blinding smoke from a forest fire. Three people were killed and 21 injured, authorities said. “I don’t understand how I lived through that,” said Erik Gebauer, whose Mustang slid under a tractor-trailer. “I felt death right behind me. I can’t believe I made it.”

August 3, 1988 | TRACY DODDS, Times Staff Writer

Bruce Kimball, who miraculously survived a near-fatal automobile crash himself seven years ago and went on to win the Olympic silver medal on the 10-meter diving platform in 1984, was charged with two counts of vehicular homicide after a crash early Tuesday morning. The sports car Kimball was driving crashed into a crowd of teen-agers and three parked cars on a dead-end road near Brandon, Fla. about midnight. Two boys were killed and at least six other people were injured.


Even speeding by at 80 mph, motorists can’t miss it. Garlanded with flowers, ribbons and teddy bears, the wooden cross stands four feet tall and is anchored in a bucket of concrete buried in the broad, sloping median of Interstate 75 just north of here. Carved into the white crosspiece are the names Shane Matthews and Shaun Fischer, and the date they died–Jan. 18, 1996.

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