Witness to deadly crash in Arcadia urges drivers to slow down

The crash happened Saturday afternoon when a truck hit a family crossing in a crosswalk.
ABC7 News at 11pm
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 5:07 PM EDT
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ARCADIA, Fla. (WWSB) - A man who witnessed a family hit by a pickup truck in Arcadia Saturday said passers-by did all they could to help before first responders arrived.

“It was something you don’t want to witness,” said Julio Delmonte. “As a father of three daughters, it’s something I would never want to see in my life.”

The crash happened about 12:40 p.m. at the intersection of West Pine Street and U.S. 17. The Florida Highway Patrol said a pickup truck driven by a 37-year-old Arcadia man tried to make a left turn onto U.S. 17 while a mother and her two children were crossing the street in the crosswalk.

The truck hit the woman and a 12-year-old boy. The boy later died at a hospital; the mother is in critical condition. A 2-year-old girl in a stroller, received only minor injuries.

Delmonte, the owner of Desoto Auto Exchange right down the street from the crash, said he talked with the woman a few minutes before the incident. “I was up front dealing with a car and she happened to walk by with the babies,” said Delmonte. “She stopped and we talked about a car.”

Delmonte said the mother had just moved to Arcadia and was in need of a new car. She only talked for a few minutes before leaving and walking down the street to the crosswalk where she would be hit, Delmonte said.

The mother left a baby bottle behind at Delmonte’s auto shop and he started to walk down the street after her to return it. Within minutes of leaving the shop, Delmonte said she had been hit.

Delmonte said other witnesses rushed to help the mother and her children. One local man started to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation while others directed traffic until first responders arrived, said Delmonte.

“We were just trying to do the best we could to help,” said Delmonte.

Delmonte hopes that people use this crash as a wake-up call to pay attention and start to slow down, especially in this area.

“I think it could have been avoided,” said Delmonte. “Pay attention to the road, drive slow and go the speed limit, and just look out for these people that are out there whether it’s day-time or night-time.”

The investigation is ongoing.