Deadly crash into canal in Golden Gate Estates

Posted at 6:19 PM, Nov 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-25 18:19:08-05

A pickup truck carrying a man and several teens crashed into a canal in Collier County early Wednesday, with deadly results. 

The Florida Highway Patrol said Jeremiah Hernandez, 25, of Naples, died from injuries he sustained in the crash. The pickup truck was driven by Jaden Sanchez, 18, of Naples. FHP said that the truck crashed through the reflective barrier at the dead end on 3rd Avenue Northwest in Golden Gate Estates, about a mile west of Collier Boulevard at about 12:30 a.m.

A berm several feet high separates the end of the road from the canal, but the truck went over it before landing in the water.

Glenn Charbonneau lives down the street from the accident scene. He rode his bike down to the dead end after the truck had been removed.

"I was kind of curious how someone could have died going into the canal," Charbonneau said. "But now seeing the berm, I could see if they had a good head of steam going, they could definitely go up over the top."

Charbonneau, who has lived on 3rd Avenue Northwest for more than 15 years, said that he has seen plenty of people speeding down the straight dead-end road, but that this was the first fatality was aware of. He said that the reflective barriers are hard to miss at night.

"I can't imagine not seeing them, because as soon as you turn on the street at night with normal headlights, you can see the barriers," he said.

Sanchez and three other 18-year-old passengers were taken to various hospitals with injuries ranging from serious to minor. Two of them had been riding in the bed of the pickup truck.

It's not yet known if alcohol was a factor in the crash, or if any charges are pending for Sanchez.

"It's a shame to see somebody die this close to my house, and pretty close to my kid's age," Charbonneau said. "I just hope everybody takes it a little slower this holiday season."