On Saturday, January 11th, a 15-year-old driver with a learner’s permit ran a red light at a busy Oviedo intersection, causing an accident that resulted in one fatality. Now, it could be a few months before troopers decide whether charges will be filed against the driver.
Florida Highway Patrol Spokesperson, Sgt. Kim Montes explained to reporters that traffic fatality investigations often take two to three months. Accidents involving drivers who have a learner’s permit are not uncommon, but fatal accidents involving such beginner drivers are mostly unheard of in the area, Montes noted.
The teenager was operating the vehicle legally, with a permit that he obtained in July, Montes said. The teenage boy’s mother was riding with him in the front passenger seat at the time of the accident. They were headed east in a Ford SUV on Red Bug Lake Road when the driver ran the red light at Aloma Avenue that afternoon. The SUV crashed into the right side of a Buick sedan, which was heading south on Aloma Avenue.
FHP said 68-year-old Donna Guehrn of Iowa, a passenger in the Buick, died in the accident. Guehrn’s daughter, Lora Bryan of Oviedo, was driving the car – but suffered only minor injuries. The initial impact of the crash pushed the Buick into a Nissan Xterra in the lane beside it, troopers said. The Xterra SUV then overturned and its two occupants, Angela Lanciano and Dawn-Marie St. Pierre, suffered minor injuries.
Police say there is no initial indication that alcohol or driver-distraction (cell phone use) played any role in the accident, Montes said. Investigators plan to reconstruct the accident to determine his speed. No further word was given on any pending charges or civil claims linked to the accident.