Medical emergency causes 5 car chain reaction crash in Port Richey

Witness: Car flipped, was in midair
Posted at 10:41 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 04:36:49-05

Port Richey police said a total of five people were transported to area hospitals after a horrific crash in the intersection of U.S. 19 and Ridge Road in Port Richey Thursday afternoon.

Port Richey police said the driver that caused the 5 car chain reaction crash suffered a medical emergency.

Sgt. Gary Lush with Port Richey Police said the female driver suffered what appears to be a seizure. Her body went stiff and the driver accelerated on the gas pedal. The passenger tried to slow her down but couldn't pull her leg off the accelerator. At some point, Lush said the passenger grabbed the wheel and drove the car over the median into oncoming traffic to avoid crashing into vehicles stopped at the light.  

“We heard the noise, the loud boom,” Chris Casto said. “We saw the car had flipped it was in midair it landed on it’s hood, it’s top and it slid a couple hundred feet down the road.”

Casto works at Ocean Honda on the corner of the Ridge Road and U.S. 19. He said within seconds first responders were on scene.  

“There was quite a bit of cars involved and to be in the air like that the car he had to be going a pretty good clip,” Casto said.

Police are reviewing red light cameras to get a clearer picture of what happened. Lush said the car was traveling at a high rate of speed because during the medical emergency the driver’s foot hit the gas pedal and was accelerating. Lush said the passenger did everything he could to avoid an accident but couldn’t stop the car before crashing in the intersection. At this point police said it appears to be an accident caused by a medical emergency and no charges are expected to be filed.