ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. - A few days after the deadly I-75 pile-up took 11 lives, Governor Rick Scott announced a fund created to help the surviving victims and families of Sunday’s multi-vehicle crash.
The Florida’s disaster fund “Neighbors to the Rescue” was introduced Wednesday, and that aid is imperative for victims like 15-year-old Lidiane Carmo.
Carmo and her family were returning home to Atlanta after a church conference in Orlando when their vehicle got caught in the I-75 stretch of fog and smoke covered highway, falling victim to the chain-reaction crashes Sunday morning.
In that instant, Carmo's father who was a pastor, her mother and her sister were killed. Her father's brother and his girlfriend were also in the vehicle and died as well.
As she recovers in the hospital, she is without family, and without health insurance.
"It's tragic what happened. One family lost every member of the family but a 15-year-old daughter so your heart goes out to everybody involved,” Gov. Scott said.
There were also concerns that Carmo, who is Brazilian, would be deported, because she and her family were in America illegally.
Federal officials told CNN that this won’t happen.
Carmo, a junior in high school, is still recovering and faces even more needed surgeries that she can’t afford.
The remaining family and Pastor Carmo's church said they don't have the money to transport the bodies home back to Georgia nor to pay for the funerals.
There are also at least 18 other people who survived the tragic accident.
“… I just hope people will contribute. You just hope it never happens again," Scott said.
$10 donations can be sent with a text message to 20222 and type FLFund. You'll get a reply asking you to confirm the donation. Money can also be donated online at www.floridasfoundation.org .
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office says a growing death toll from a massive tornado that struck outside Oklahoma City on Monday afternoon now stands at 51.