Gainesville girl killed in Union County wreck

LAKE BUTLER, Fla. - An 8-year-old girl was killed and a second child and the woman who was driving them were hospitalized after a crash Friday afternoon in Union County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said Faith Banks was driving an SUV north on State Road 121 just before 5 p.m. and had slowed or stopped to make a left turn onto County Road 239A, but then proceeded into the path of a southbound tractor-trailer.

The FHP report says the big rig driver applied the brakes but couldn't stop in time and struck the passenger side of the SUV. 

Eight-year-old Holly Bunting, of Gainesville and 10-year-old Gavin Banks were taken to Shands Medical Center in Gainesville, where Bunting died and Banks remains in serious condition.  Faith Banks, 57, was also taken to Shands Gainesville with minor injuries.  Troopers say all were wearing seat belts.

The driver of the Mack tractor, Michael Gargano, 62, of Bronson, Fla., was not hurt.

Blood-alcohol tests were conducted on both drivers, which is standard practice after a fatal crash.

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