EVERGLADES CITY, Fla. - Four people were killed Wednesday afternoon after their car sped through an intersection near Everglades City and was T-boned by a van.
Just before 4 p.m., a silver Ford Taurus was driving north on State Road 29, leaving Everglades City, when it drove through the intersection with U.S. 41 East without stopping for the flashing red light, Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dwayne Cooper said.
A gray conversion van heading west on U.S. 41 struck the Ford's passenger side, sending the car into a guardrail, Cooper said. The van overturned.
"We found three people in the car. They were all expired when we checked them in the car," Ochopee Fire Chief Alan McLaughlin said. "We found one person that was ejected from the car and was down on the canal bank."
The woman who had been ejected died in the back of an ambulance while a medical helicopter was en route.
The victims were identified as James J. Rosini, 66, William J. Rosini, 68, Patricia C. Rosini, 65, and Deborah A. Korbich, 59. The Rosinis are all from Coal Township, Pa., while Korbich is from Elysburg, Pa.
None of the victims was wearing a seat belt, the FHP reported. Alcohol is not suspected as a factor in the crash.
David L. Dahl, 63, and Joanne Dahl, 60, of South Williamsport, Pa. — the couple in the van — were both buckled up and out of their vehicle by the time emergency responders arrived, authorities said. David Dahl sustained serious injuries in the crash, while Joanne Dahl suffered minor injuries.
They were transported to NCH Downtown Naples hospital.
The wreck caused temporary road blockage on U.S. 41 East and State Road 29, the FHP reported.
Cooper said he believes the victims didn't realize the flashing light was red, requiring a stop. The light at the intersection flashes yellow for traffic heading east and west, and flashes red for vehicles traveling north and south.
"We think they were on vacation," he said. "We found a lot of park tickets from Miami and around the area in the glovebox."
Hours after the crash, the four bodies lay under white tarps next to the Ford, which was crumpled against the guardrail. Flashing lights from emergency vehicles lit the mosquito-infested road.
"We could tell from the vehicles it was a high-speed impact," McLaughlin said.
Zeny Smith and Jeffery Petrel, who work at the gas station near the scene, were chatting when they heard the crash.
"My heart was pounding," Smith said. "It happened so quick."
Petrel called 911. All they could see was the van turned on its side exposing the wiring and mechanics on the bottom. "By the time we turned around," Smith said. "it was over."
The four killed were all from the same area in Pennsylvania.
James J. Rosini was a Shamokin attorney who was a former Northumberland County judge and district attorney. At the time of his death, he was serving as the county's assistant solicitor. His wife, Patricia, was director of county Area Agency on Aging.
William J. Rosini was co-owner of Shamokin Filler. Deborah A. Korbich had worked for Miller Gas & Oil.