Home / 2 dead, 3 seriously injured after crash on Alligator Alley

2 dead, 3 seriously injured after crash on Alligator Alley

Reporter: Annette Montgomery Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:

Five people from North Fort Myers were involved in a crash on Alligator Alley in Broward County that killed two of them and left three more in serious condition late Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, an SUV driven by a 47-year-old woman was traveling west in the outside lane of Alligator Alley, near mile marker 28, around 5:30 p.m. The left rear tire of the SUV blew out and the driver lost control. The SUV entered the north grass shoulder, collided with a barbed wire fence, small trees and bushes and went into a canal, where it came to rest, submerged.

Multiple good Samaritans entered the canal to help pull out the driver and her passengers: a 22-year-old woman, a 40-year-old woman, and a young boy and girl, both 2 years old.

“They were screaming, ‘help, help, help,” said Charlie Cheng, a good Samaritan who saw the crash unfold. “I just jumped in … I didn’t think about the gators or nothing like that. I just did it.”

Cheng and others did CPR on the two women but it wasn’t enough to save the driver and 22-year-old woman. They were transported to Broward Health, where they were pronounced dead.

The other three passengers remain in serious condition.

“Now you know you potentially have a motherless child now. It’s a terrible situation,” said Michael Kane, battalion chief for Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue.

Kane’s team got to the crash within minutes.

“We were there very quickly in fact,” Kane said. “Unfortunately, not quick enough. The two victims that did not survive happened to be underwater for an extended period of time.”

“It doesn’t always end up in a fatality but we do get confirmed vehicle in canal calls at least monthly. It’s quite busy,” he added.

A year ago, a 1-year-old child died in that same canal after the car he was in rolled over.

Along the Broward County stretch of Alligator Alley, there’s only fencing meant to stop animals from getting loose on the road.

There is no guardrail or barrier.

“I really don’t know why there’s not a big push to do it because it has been done in Collier County,” Kane said, adding that, “I don’t even know if there’s a project in place.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation said there is a project in the early phases of design that will put up a guardrail with protective cable barriers along I-75 in Broward County.

Construction is set to begin in 2024.

The Florida Highway Patrol no longer releases the names of people involved in traffic crashes citing Marsy’s Law.