JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ten people, including six children, were hurt Friday morning when a car ran a stop sign at a Westside intersection and collided with an SUV, sending it through a fence and upside-down into a ditch filled with water, according to Jacksonville police.
A spokesman for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said a white Nissan Altima apparently ran a stop sign just before 7 a.m. at the intersection of Norman E. Thagard Boulevard and West Palm Avenue, east of Edgewood Avenue.
The Altima hit a silver Ford Expedition that was headed westbound on Thagard Boulevard, sending the SUV crashing upside down into a nearby ditch with some water in it.
The driver of the Altima ran from the scene, leaving the car behind, police said. They are searching for the driver, who is believed to have been the only person in the car.
"He needs to be caught, that’s what," neighbor Don Brummage said. "He could have checked on them and made sure they were all right. That could happen to anybody‘s family.”
The driver of the Expedition was trapped briefly upside-down in the water but was freed by rescue workers, police said. The driver and nine others in the SUV, including six children, were taken to a hospital with various injuries, but none were life-threatening.
Several online sources show the Ford Expedition model involved in the crash seats between seven and nine people. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has not commented on how many of the 10 passengers were -- or weren’t -- wearing seat belts.
Anyone who witnessed the crash or might know where the driver is can call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.
Neighbors said the intersection desperately needs a traffic light.
“Just the other day, I saw where it was another car coming and somebody speeded out, but it was in the nick of time -- they didn’t have an accident, but it could have easily been just like this," Cassandra Williams said.
Williams and other said they're not surprised by Friday's crash, calling the intersection "very dangerous."