Three people were killed and eight others injured in a chain reaction accident involving a bear and multiple vehicles in the Florida Everglades Sunday night.
The crashes started when an SUV driven by Carloline Billie struck and killed a black bear in a remote area in the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation in Hendry County. The bear was killed instantly in the crash. The crash also left Billie’s car partially off the road and partially in the oncoming lane of traffic.
Seminole Police said three pickup trucks were driving on the road and all three pulled off to help. Eight people in the trucks got out of their cars and tried to help Billie at the scene. Moments later, a car driving the other way hit the SUV, sideswiped one of the trucks, and rolled over several times, hitting seven of the good Samaritans.
The car that rolled over was driven by Gary McInturff of Hollywood and had three members of his family in the car. Seminole Police said three of the good Samaritans were killed when the vehicle rolled over them.
The three Good Samaritans who were killed were identified by police as: Yoel Menendez, 44, Ricoberto Llanez, 43, and Alain Navarro, 46.
Seminole Police said five of the eight people injured were treated and released from the hospital. Three victims were admitted to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. One of the victims hospitalized was a child.
Seminole Police said they are continuing to investigate the scene and the circumstances surrounding the deadly accidents.
Police said that while accidents involving black bears are rare in South Florida, it’s not the first accident involving a Florida Black Bear and a motor vehicle in the Big Cypress Seminole Reservation. Another bear was killed there in a one-car accident about five years ago.