Alligator Alley Accident – Six people were injured, and a 1-year-old is presumed to be dead after a pickup truck rolled over along Alligator Alley in West Broward, according to rescue crews.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue crews responded to the scene along the eastbound lanes of Interstate 75, near Mile Marker 28, at around 4:30 p.m., Thursday.
“The call came in for an overturned vehicle with seven passengers who were injured, as well as a 1-year-old that was possibly ejected from the vehicle,” BSFR Chief Michael Kane said in a phone interview. “We’re currently attempting to locate [the child] at this time.”
7Skyforce HD hovered over the crash site where crews could be seen searching the water with an air boat, searching the nearby area with heat-seeking technology, walking near the vehicle on foot and divers could be seen in the water, as well.
“Given the type of rollover accident that occurred here, we don’t expect that the child would be too far from the vehicle,” Kane said. “From where the vehicle is resting, they are operating and working within close proximity to that vehicle. The expectation is if the child was ejected, the child is going to be within a pretty close distance from the vehicle.”
Some of the rescue crews assisting BSFR in their search for the child include Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Sunrise Fire Rescue and City of Weston Fire Rescue.
“We’ve got about 20 assets currently on the scene of this incident,” Kane said. “We’re searching from the air with our helicopters. We’re searching from the ground with our ground assets, as well as with our K-9 search dog that’s on scene.”
Rescue crews transferred their mission from a search and rescue operation to a search and recovery at around 6 p.m. Officials said the child is presumed to be deceased.
“At this point in time, as the window of opportunity continues to close, we transition from a rescue operation to a recovery operation,” Kane said. “We are still committed to finding this child, but obviously, as time passes, the hopes that the child is going to be located alive may dwindle, sadly.”
Paramedics transported at least three people to Broward Health Medical Center. Officials said three others got out of the vehicle OK and were walking around after the crash. It does not appear any of their injuries are considered to be life-threatening.
“A number of the patients were injured and are being transported to some local area hospitals,” Kane said.
It remains unknown how the child was thrown from the vehicle, and it also remains unclear if the child was in a restraint, or car seat, prior to the crash.
Authorities shut down the eastbound lanes of the interstate to land an air rescue helicopter.
7News cameras captured a diver who needed medical attention being put in the back of an ambulance.
A tow truck has arrived on the scene to lift the truck out of the marsh.
The cause of the crash remains unclear, but officials believe the pickup truck was the only vehicle involved in the incident.