August 15, 2022

Healty

Slick Healthy

Seizure may have caused beach crash that injured 4

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A beachgoer and three passengers were taken to the hospital Sunday after the driver of a white Nissan Altima apparenty lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the ocean, a Volusia County Beach Safety incident report said.

According to a passenger in the car, and a retired paramedic who was at the scene, it appeared that the accident happened because the driver, Christian Rivera-Rosado, 28, was having a seizure, investigators said.


What You Need To Know

  • A vehicle carrying four people crashed into the ocean in Daytona Beach Sunday just before 5 p.m., officials say
  • One beachgoer was hit during the crash, and a total of four people were taken to the hospital for treatment
  • Investigators say a passenger in the vehicle and a retired paramedic at the scene, said it appeared the driver was having a seizure at the time of the accident

The crash happened just before 5 p.m. in the area of the International Speedway Boulevard beach approach at 300 Atlantic Avenue.

Witnesses reported seeing the Altima driving at a high rate of speed in the wrong lane before crashing through a toll attendant booth, beach ramp gate and traffic signs before hitting one person on the beach and coming to a stop in the water, the report said.

One witness said when the car crashed through the toll booth, it luckily alerted dozens of people who were in the vehicle’s path, and gave them just enough time to get out of the way. 

“We’re lucky to be standing on this side of the posts over there. It could have been us like all of the people who were standing there,” Stephen Lafaille said. 

A retired paramedic named Juan Rohena also witnessed the crash and told investigators he approached the car to assess any injuries to the driver or passengers.

“Upon doing so, (the witness) noted that the driver’s body was tensed and stated that his ‘eyes were rolled in the back of his head,'” the report said.

A passenger in the car, Yashira De-Jesus-Guzman, 28, corroborated the chain of events, saying “Rivera-Rosado seemed to be having a seizure while driving over the ISB bridge,” the report said. “She attempted to move his foot from the pedals, but was only able to steer the vehicle through traffic.”

Lafaille also noticed the driver seeming confused but conscious. 

“He seemed like somebody who just went on the beach who was like ‘woah, something happened out there, okay let’s go back home.’  Not that he didn’t care, but he really was out of it,” he said. 

A doctor treating Rivera-Rosado after the crash told investigators that he could not say with certainty what caused the “medical emergency” that seems to have caused the crash, but said that a seizure was a “possible explanation,” the report said, also noting that the man did not have a previous history of seizures.

Results of toxicology tests were not available at the time and the doctor told officials that Rivera-Rosado would undergo a neurological examination “at a later time.”

Spectrum News’ news-gathering partner, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, reported that there was at least one child among those hurt in the crash.

Others told Spectrum News that it was a shock to see something like this happen at the beach.

“I was standing right beside it, buddy, I was standing right beside it,” said witness Richie DeLagarza. “It took off straight beside us — it was a good 80 to 90 miles per hour. It didn’t slow down, everybody was running like something serious has happened.”

According to the Volusia County Beach Safety report, the individual hit during the crash, De-Jesus-Guzman, Rivera-Rosado and another passenger in the vehicle were taken to Halifax Medical Center for treatment.

Their conditions were not immediately released.

Rivera-Rosado received a careless driving citation in connection with the crash.