A Disney vacation ended in tragedy for a Massachusetts family on Tuesday, February 18.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) officials say that Julie Smith, 41, of Whitman, Massachusetts, her five-year-old daughter, Scarlett, her 11-year-old son, Jaxon, and her mother, Josephine Fay, 76, all died after a pickup truck collided with the back of their van. The crash happened on Route 429 in Kissimmee, not far from Disney World. Julie and Scarlett Smith and Josephine Fay were all pronounced dead at the scene of the accident. Jaxon was taken to a local hospital in critical condition, and died on Wednesday from his injuries.
There were eight people in the van at the time of the accident, including Julie Smith’s husband and father, who had only minor injuries. Her two other daughters—one of them Scarlett’s twin—were not hurt.
“This is one of the most horrible things that a law enforcement officer has to do,”Lt. Montes of the FHP said of delivering the terrible news. “We brought our victim advocate in. We had support teams come in due to the significance of the crash and the number of family members lost. We were there to support whatever they need.”
The Whitman-Hanson Regional School District, where Jaxon was a student, will have counseling available for students and teachers struggling with their grief.
Charges are pending against the driver of the pickup truck.