Man cited for careless driving after fatal crash

  • Jhon Escobar
    Jhon Escobar

The Florida Highway Patrol has cited a man for careless driving after troopers said he caused a crash in February on State Road 429 that killed four people in a van.

Lucas Dos Reis Laurindo, 26, has been cited for careless driving in the fatal crash.

The Florida Highway Patrol completed its investigation in the crash that occurred on S.R.429, on Feb. 18 near mile marker 1 at 5:29 p.m.

The crash occurred in the southbound lanes as traffic slowed, due to congestion.

Laurindo, who was driving a 2016 Ram 3500 truck, failed to slow, as he approached the rear of a 2020 Toyota Sienna van. The front of the truck struck the rear of the van, which overturned onto its side after the impact.

Two other vehicles were struck after the initial collision. Four occupants of the van were killed, as a result of the collision. Julie Smith, Scarlett Smith and Josephine Anna Fay were pronounced deceased at the scene. Jackson Smith died the next day, at the hospital.

The Florida Highway Patrol’s traffic homicide team’s investigation included the actions of Laurindo at the time of the crash as well as his driver’s license status.

He was taken into custody by federal law enforcement for a visa violation on Feb. 28. He is currently being held at the Glades Jail.

The result of the crash investigation determined that Laurindo was at fault for the collision, but under Florida law, the strongest charge that could be made against him was careless driving, according to a FHP press release.

Laurindo was issued the ticket last week and there is a mandatory court appearance for the violation.

“The Florida Highway Patrol has been in contact with the families involved in this horrific crash and continues to send our condolences, as they recover,” said FHP Lt. Kim Montes.

Man who shot a cop in St. Cloud identified

The man arrested for shooting at an Orlando police officer at his St. Cloud home has been identified as Jhon David Escobar.

On March 9, detectives from the St. Cloud Police Department arrested Escobar, 31, for the shooting that occurred on March 1.

He was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and shooting missile into structure.

In addition, Escobar was also charged with possession of cocaine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He has been booked into the Osceola County Jail.