Jaws of Life Frees Six Victims

Credit: CBS4

An 18 year old woman was killed and four others were injured when two cars collided in the early morning hours of July 3 in Westchester.

According to police reports, Johanna Arias, 18, was killed when the Honda Accord she was driving was broadsided by a Chevrolet Blazer at the corner of Southwest 52th Street and 87th Avenue at around 1:30 a.m. Police say that Arias was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Arias was on her way home and was attempting to make a left on to 87th Avenue when she was hit by the SUV being driven by Noemi Hernandez, 45.

Four passengers who were riding in the Honda with Arias were transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center.  Hernandez was also transported to Kendall Regional with a broken leg she suffered as a result of the crash.

Police say that the impact of the accident was so violent, the Jaws of Life had to be used to extract everyone from the vehicles involved in the crash.

“All six victims were entrapped in both vehicles, said Rafael Fernandez of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.  “We had to use the jaws of life in two separate vehicles to remove all six of them. It was about a 20 to 30 minutes extrication but we were able to get all six victims out of the vehicles.”

“They’re all young,” said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper, John Carvalho. “Young teenagers.”

Accident investigators are working to determine an actual cause of the crash. It does not appear at this time that alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Safe travel on the road is never guaranteed, however, seatbelt use can lessen injuries if you are involved in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), lap and shoulder seatbelts, when they are used by both drivers and their passengers, greatly reduce the risk of fatalities often sustained by front-seat car occupants by nearly 45 percent. Seatbelts can also greatly reduce the risk of both moderate and critical injury by as much as 50 percent. If the vehicle involved in a crash is a pickup or light truck, this percentage of reduction in fatalities or critical injuries is at an even higher percentage rate. The NHTSA estimates that over 15,000 lives are saved each year because of the use of seatbelts by both drivers and passengers..

By law, the State of Florida requires all front seat occupants to wear a seat belt, regardless of age or whether or not the vehicle is equipped with an airbag system. Drivers and passengers can be ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt. Additionally, the driver of a vehicle where passengers under the age of 18 who are not properly restrained. Children from 6 to 17 years old must be belted , whether they sit in the front seat or back seat, and younger children must be restrained in a car or booster seat.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident that involved serious injury or fatality, give our offices a call. Our legal professionals are here to answer any questions you may have and help you to determine the real value of your case. Medical expenses, long term care, rehabilitation and even funeral costs after a tragic loss can add up. We will not only help you seek compensation, but can help you see justice is done. We have years of experience of successfully representing our clients in the Florida Courts. Your initial consultation and the call are free.