JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Neither driver involved in a crash on the Buckman Bridge on Thursday night had a valid license to drive, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Both drivers have lengthy criminal records and neither had a valid driver's license, state troopers said.
Troopers said 29-year-old William Striglers III was driving a Ford Explorer north on the Interstate 295 bridge about 9:30 p.m. when he changed lanes into the path of Kia Optima, driven by 28-year-old Donald Kee. The car struck the SUV, causing it to overturn.
Striglers, Kee, 29-year-old Latena Kennon and 2-year-old Alayshia Kennon, passengers in the SUV, were all hospitalized with serious injuries. None of the three in the SUV were wearing seat belts and were thrown from the vehicle. A 5-year-old in Kee's car was unhurt.
"If they were wearing their seat belts, their injuries would not have been as severe," said FHP Sgt. Joel Johnson.
Troopers said Striglers is at fault. They said he changed lanes into the path of Kee's car. But investigators said neither should have been driving in the first place.
Striglers' lengthy criminal record shows he has been arrested five times in Jacksonville on charges such as armed drug possession and resisting an officer. Records show his driver's license is suspended.
Kee, while not at fault in the crash, is also no stranger to the law. He's been arrested 16 times in Duval County on charges such as grand theft and possession of a concealed firearm. Records show he never had a driver's license.
Troopers said when released from hospitals, the two men will likely face charges and citations. Right now, it's unclear if they'll go to jail or just have to appear in court.
"They should be arrested for their actions," Channel 4 crime analyst Ken Jefferson said.
Jefferson said both drivers knew they weren't allowed to be behind the wheel, and he said Striglers should be in even more trouble because the child in his SUV wasn't even buckled up.
"He's just endangered the life of an innocent individual, and all he gets is a citation for not having a child restrained," Jefferson said. "I think that law needs to be strengthened."
The FHP said it will be in contact with the drivers once their released from hospitals. Troopers said they will have to appear before a judge soon, but it's still unclear if either will serve any jail time.
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