Mother accused of letting teen drive, resulting in fatal crash, listens to testimony of surviving children in court

Reporter: Emma Heaton
Published: Updated:
Joyce Zamago is accused of letting her teen drive from Immokalee to Lehigh Acres. A car struck the family vehicle and Zamago’s two youngest children died. (CREDIT: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

A woman awaiting trial for child abuse after the death of her two children in an August car crash was in court on Thursday.

Joyce Zamago is accused of letting her 14-year-old drive her car as she drank beer. A second vehicle crashed into the family car, killing two of her children, two girls ages 3 and 4, who were in the trunk area of the vehicle.

No one was wearing a seatbelt.

Zamago faced a judge during a hearing to determine what evidence could be allowed in from the interview the Department of Children and Families investigators had with her children soon after the crash.

The purpose was to determine if the surviving children could testify at trial.

Florida Highway Patrol traffic homicide investigator Timothy Michael was among those who responded to the crash.

Prosecutors believe the teenager’s mother told her to drive from Immokalee to Lehigh Acres because Zamago was too drunk to drive.

Four more of Zamago’s children were also passengers in the vehicle.

The other car hit them on the back of the trunk where basically the two other siblings were,” said Mokhirokhon Usmanova, with DCF.

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