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Three St. Petersburg women killed in fiery 3 a.m. car accident

Although most people prefer not to think too long about it, they know that tragedy can strike anywhere and at virtually any time. When it does strike in the form of a car accident and lives are lost, surviving family members often are left grieving and devastated. Their emotional trauma is often made worse, however, when they find out a hit-and-run driver was behind their loss.

Such a tragedy recently struck a St. Petersburg neighborhood when three women heading to a local grocery store died in a car accident around 3 a.m. According to police, the wreck at 16th Street near Ninth Avenue involved a 2004 Saturn and a 2012 Chrysler. Apparently the two vehicles were both driving southbound on 16th Street when the driver of the Saturn began to make a left turn into a parking lot. The Chrysler allegedly drove into the northbound lane, hitting the rear of the Saturn. A gas tank explosion immediately engulfed the Saturn and trapped its passengers. Two of the victims, ages 21 and 23, died in the car, and the third victim, their 25-year-old aunt, died later in the hospital from massive trauma and burns.

The driver of the Chrysler has been identified by St. Petersburg police as a 27-year-old local man. He now faces charges of vehicular homicide and driving with a revoked or suspended license in connection to the deadly crash. He was also charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death after allegedly fleeing the crash scene.

Families of car accident victims may be pleased when criminal charges are filed against a negligent driver, but this in no way makes up for the death of a loved one. Floridians should remember that legal options are available that may provide compensation that can help them find some sense of justice.

Source: The St. Petersburg Tribune, "Suspect named in triple fatality hit-and-run," Stephen Thompson, June 27, 2014

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