Crash

A scene from the March 27 crash on State Road 26. Taylor Swilley, 21,  was recently arrested on eight charges. 

Courtesy to the Alligator

This version of the article ran in the March 29, 2016 print edition:

One of nine passengers injured in a head-on collision Sunday has died.

Steven Morton, 6, was pronounced dead at UF Health Shands Hospital following the crash. Four-month-old Faith Swilley is currently in critical condition, and all other injuries are non-life-threatening, Gainesville Police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias wrote in an email.

As two cars headed south on State Road 26 on Sunday afternoon, Taylor Swilley, 20, of Micanopy, Florida, drove his Kia Sorento northbound.

Swilley swerved into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla.

Inside the Corolla sat Jade Albert and Steven Morton, both 6, and Shayannae Morton, 8.

Gainesville resident Elouise Smith, 75, drove the Corolla.

Swilley then collided with a Scion driven by Putnam County, Florida, resident April Canipe, 33.

All three cars veered off the roadway.

His wife, Elizabeth Swilley, 21, and two daughters, 4-month-old Faith and 2-year-old Aubrey, were all passengers in his car.

It is unknown what caused Swilley to veer into the oncoming lane, Tobias said. GPD is currently conducting a traffic homicide investigation.

“Emotions are flaring and my family and I are trying to recover both mentally and physically,” Swilley wrote in a text message.

In photos released by Gainesville Fire Rescue, the Corolla and Scion are mangled, with the hoods bent back toward shattered windshields.

The crash took place near Gum Root Park, Michael Cowart, the GFR operations chief, wrote in an email.

“In a head on collision, the impact is twice that of you hitting a stationary object,” he said. “Two cars colliding at 55 miles per hour is equal to one car hitting a stationary object at 110 miles per hour.”

Cowart said all nine passengers were sent to UF Health Shands Hospital to be treated, noting that seat belts and car seats saved the lives of the surviving passengers.

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Update, 3:45 p.m. March 28, 2016: One of the passengers, 6-year-old Steven Morton, was pronounced dead at UF Health Shands Hospital following the crash. Four-month-old Faith Swilley is currently in critical condition. All other injuries are non-life-threatening, Gainesville Police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias wrote in an email.

Both were involved in a three-car accident Sunday on State Road 26. 

As two cars headed southbound on State Road 26 on Sunday afternoon, Taylor Swilley, 20, of Micanopy, drove his Kia SUV northbound.

Swilley swerved into the southbound lane and collided head-on with a Toyota Corolla, which held three children and one adult inside.

Swilley then collided with a Scion driven by April Canipe, 33, of Putnam County.

All three cars veered off the roadway.

In photos released by GFR, the Corolla and Scion are mangled, with the hoods bent back toward shattered windshields.

Inside the Corolla sat 6-year-old Jade Albert, 6-year-old Steven Morton and 8-year-old Shayannae Morton.

On Sunday, Steven Morton was pronounced dead at Shands, Tobias said.

Elouise Smith, 75, of Gainesville, drove the Corolla.

Swilley’s wife, Elizabeth Swilley, 21, and two daughters, 4-month-old Faith Swilley and 2-year-old Aubrey Swilley, were all passengers in Swilley’s car.

It is unknown what caused Swilley to veer into the oncoming lane, Tobias said. GPD is currently conducting a traffic homicide investigation.

“Emotions are flaring and my family and I are trying to recover both mentally and physically,” Swilley wrote in a text message.

 

Original story: A head-on collision on State Road 26 injured nine people, five of whom were children.

Four children and one adult were seriously injured following the three-car accident near Gum Root Swamp, wrote Michael Cowart, the operations chief at Gainesville Fire Rescue, in an email.

All nine passengers were sent to UF Health Shands Hospital to be treated, Cowart said.

Two of the cars drove out of town when a third car traveled the opposite direction and collided with them, Cowart said.

Cowart said seat belts and car seats saved the lives of the passengers.

“In a head on collision, the impact is twice that of you hitting a stationary object,” he wrote.

Cowart said two cars colliding at 55 miles per hour is equal to one car hitting a stationary object at 110 miles per hour.

No incident report has been released, but Gainesville Police spokesman Officer Ben Tobias said more information will be released today.

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@martindvassolo