Four members of the same Bristol family die in Florida crash

Four members of the same family have been killed in a road smash while on holiday in Florida. Adam, Maryanne, Bryan and Sheralyn Stephenson died at the scene when their Mitsubishi collided with a Ford pickup truck in America on Monday. Only one member of the family survived after choosing to stay in the villa rather than join the outing to the Kennedy Space Centre where some reports suggest the four had gone to see the launch of Space X.

The family are from Kingswood, in Bristol.

Bryan and Sheralyn Stephenson

The accident happened at State Road 405 at the junction with Sisson Road in the city of Titusville at around 6pm on Monday.

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A statement from the Titusville Police Department says Adam Stephenson, 30, was at the wheel of the car travelling west on the state road. It has been reported that the sedan car turned left into the path of the pick-up which was travelling in the opposite direction. The authorities said have said Adam Stephenson, 30, Maryanne Stephenson 29, Bryan Stephenson, 66, and Sheralyn Stephenson, were all pronounced dead when paramedics arrived at the scene.

The driver of the pickup truck, James Walsh, 28, was rushed to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It is believed the Stephenson family had just left the Kennedy Space Centre which is nine miles away from the scene and were travelling back to a rented property 70 miles away in the city of Davenport. In a statement, Titusville Police Department said: “Investigators believe the Stephenson family had just left the Kennedy Space Center in their rental vehicle and were attempting to navigate back to their rental house in Davenport at the time of the crash.

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“GPS in the vehicle was instructing a U-turn at the intersection, most likely because of an earlier crash with road blockage on SR 407 – which was the original GPS route from the Space Center for their trip back to Davenport.”

Crash scene from google

The Daily Mail has quoted Deputy Chief Hutchinson, of Titusville Police, Florida, as saying: “At the point of the crash the GPS indicated that the GPS had rerouted them. ‘”It had instructed them to do a U-turn at that location, which was an intersection.

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“It told them to go the other way because there was a crash up ahead of them.

“They were in the process of making that U-turn at the time of the collision. “We think that one of the contributing factors was the unfamiliarity of the driver with the area.

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“The vehicle they collided with was a heavy duty Ford pick up truck driven by a local man who said that the vehicle pulled right in front of him and there was nothing he could do. “He was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

“All four of the people in the car died at the scene. Providing rescue personnel were not able to help them in any way. Unfortunately there was nothing they could do.”

The scene

Police say Mr Stephenson’s unnamed brother survived after staying at the rental home rather than visit the space center.

“When he noticed they didn’t return he called local law enforcement but they were already on their way to notify him,” the police are quoted. “He lost his brother, sister in law, his mum and his dad. “Very, very tragic.

He was doing the notifications last night to other family members over in England,” he said.

Last night our sister paper The Post were reporting social media messages[1] and tributes posted following news of the tragedy.

References

  1. ^ social media messages (www.bristolpost.co.uk)

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