JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 10-year-old boy died Wednesday night when a tractor-trailer came across the median of I-10 just east of Highway 301, flipped on its side and slid in front of a family’s van according to Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said the boy, Eli Warren, and his mother Releia, Warren, were headed west about 8 p.m. in the left lane of 1-10. For reasons still under investigation, troopers said a tractor-trailer heading east on I-10 entered into the grass median and overturned, sliding into the westbound lane and striking the Warren’s Honda van.
Eli was pronounced dead on the scene by the Duval County Medical Examiner. His mother was trapped in the vehicle and suffered serious injuries. She was flown to Orange Park Medical Center.
The driver of the tractor-trailer, Anthony Lumpkin, of Atlanta, was not injured.
FHP said all westbound lanes of the interstate were closed while troopers investigated and traffic was diverted onto the First Coast Expressway until early Wednesday morning.
“When (the big rig) entered into the median, it’s very wet,” Sgt. Dylan Bryan said. “One of the reasons or probably a contributing cause of why that tractor-trailer overturned.”
Beyond the weather, troopers were looking into how long Lumpkin had been driving and whether sleepiness played a role. They’re also looking into whether he had any drugs or alcohol in his system -- all standard protocols for this sort of investigation.
The FHP said Lumpkin was cooperating with the investigation and felt terrible about what happened.
The pastor of a Westside church where the Warren family is actively involved called the accident a tragedy.
“There’s no real words we have to offer to make sense or give context to what they’re feeling,” said Pastor Jeff Henderson with Maranatha Church. “They are surrounded by family. I know the hospital said last night on a number of occasions they were blown away by the number of people who showed up to pray.”