ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – Three people killed in a head-on crash early Saturday morning on State Road 13 in St. Johns County were identified by family members as a mother of six and her two parents.
News4Jax was told Veronica Reyes and her parents, Antiono and Maria Gomez, were in the area for a birthday party this weekend.
The Florida Highway Patrol said five other people were injured in the crash.
According to the Highway Patrol, a pickup truck heading south on S.R. 13 just after 1 a.m. veered out of its lane and hit a northbound SUV near the Shands Bridge. Seven people from Pompano Beach were inside that SUV, including two of Reyes’ six children. According to troopers, the 2-year-old girl suffered critical injuries and the 5-year-old boy suffered serious injuries.
A 16-year-old girl and a 45-year-old man in the SUV also suffered serious injuries, troopers said.
Cinddy Shanchez, Reye’s niece in Pompano Beach, told News4Jax their tight-knit family is heartbroken.
“My aunt, she was a very, very happy person. She always had us at her house. But we’re, like, very devastated that this happened. We would be with her every single weekend all the time,” Shanchez said.
Now relatives are faced with funeral arrangements and medical expenses of those injured in the crash.
“It’s really tragic to lose three family members and have others injured. And we’re just praying that everything turns out OK, and that we can get through this all together,” Shanchez said.
A GoFundMe account set up to help the family with medical and funeral expenses.
Troopers said the driver of the pickup, a 21-year-old St. Augustine man, also suffered critical injuries.
According to FHP, five people were not wearing seat belts, including two who were killed and the driver of the pickup, and the 2-year-old girl was not restrained.