Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

3 Children among 4 Dead in Rash of Traffic Accidents

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

3 Children among 4 Dead in Rash of Traffic Accidents

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Patterson and Dana Treen , Times-Union staff writers

Three children died in a brutal day of traffic accidents that killed four people across Northeast Florida yesterday, leaving horrifying damage from a clogged interstate highway to a quiet cul de sac.

Thousands of motorists were delayed or detoured as wrecks closed lanes on two parts of Interstate 95 and completely closed part of Florida 9A in Arlington.

And on a tiny dead-end road in North Riverside, people grieved the death of a 2-year-old girl who was hit by a neighbor's car while she played in the street.

Alexis Collins died at Shands Jacksonville, where she was taken after neighbors and paramedics tried to revive her at the scene on Summit Street near McCoys Creek.

"Me and one of the other guys were doing what we could to help. It wasn't enough," said Calvin Jackson, who was cleaning his car when Christopher Mizell drove home from work about 2 p.m. Jackson said Mizell, 18, stopped at a stop sign, drove down the road and was about 100 feet from home when he struck Alexis.

The girl apparently ran in front of the car, and there was no reason to file criminal charges, said Mark Beebe, a traffic homicide detective for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. "The driver of the car never saw her," Beebe said.

Neighbors said children often play on Summit Street, a neighborhood where the same families have lived for decades and the road is marked with children's chalk drawings. Despite grief over the death, a relative of the girl said he knew what happened was an accident.

"He didn't mean that to happen. It's tearing him apart," said Napoleon Saulsby, the girl's uncle.

About an hour earlier in St. Johns County, a 5-year-old and 13-year-old were killed when their packed southbound van careened into the Interstate 95 median a mile north of County Road 206. Teddy Acevedo, 5, and Jeffrey Ulloa, 13, were killed when they were ejected.

There were 10 people in the van traveling from New York to Tampa, said Florida Highway Patrol Lt. …

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