PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — A Port Charlotte man and a 1-year-old little girl died Saturday morning when their car crashed into another one on Burnt Store Road in Punta Gorda, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The accident backed up traffic for hours.
FHP says that around 9:21 a.m., the driver of a Ford Focus was headed southbound and crossed over into the northbound lane on Burnt Store Road near Shotgun Road when he crashed into another car. The man and child in the Ford Focus died at the scene.
They have been identified as 20-year-old Dalton Smith and 1-year-old Melody Sullivan.
The two people in the other car were taken to Punta Gorda Bayfront hospital with serious and minor injuries.
The two-lane road was blocked for drivers on both sides, forcing Steve Allen to cancel his mid-morning appointment. “Our plans are done for the day. We had to cancel this. There’s no way I can drive back to Cape Coral and be there at 11:00,” he said.
And it made a road trip for John Pride headed to his Maryland home even longer, he said he’s lucky he got off to a late start today. “If we had left 15-20 minutes earlier, we might have been unfortunately involved in it,” he said.
Even though drivers were inconvenienced, their sentiments were the same. “It’s unfortunate that these poor people lost their lives,” said Allen.
FHP said a motorcyclist also crashed into the debris from the accident and was taken to a local hospital.
Troopers said neither speeding, nor drugs and alcohol are suspected to be causes of this accident as of Saturday.