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Makeshift Memorial on Nassau County Crash Site Honors the 6 Lives Lost Friday Afternoon

11:00 PM, Apr 4, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On Easter Sunday one First Coast family is mourning the loss of six people killed in a crash Friday night. Today that crash site is the home of a makeshift memorial.

Red flowers along with three bunnies sit where the family's crushed car landed in the median of U.S. 1 and Kelly Ln.

Family members say all six people killed in the crash were related.

According to FHP, around 5 p.m. Friday a speeding Chevy Camaro driven by Pedro Ocasio Alcazar, 38, was traveling in the right southbound lane on U.S. 1, tried to pass a red four-door Nissan traveling in the left southbound lane. The two cars collided, causing the Nissan to overturn into the median. All six victims were in the Nissan.

The Nissan was pushed into the median, creating dust, FHP said. A white pickup truck traveling in the northbound lane tried to avoid the dust but instead hit the Nissan. FHP said because the pickup truck has large, oversized tires, it drove over the Nissan, crushing it.

The victims were 39-year-old Melissa Mitchell, her three children, 11-year-old Miya Mitchell and 4-year-old twins Christian and Keyshawn Perry, her mother, 57-year-old Brenda Mitchell-Edwards, and her 16-year-old niece Dhanja Mitchell.

Alcazar is now facing six counts of vehicular homicide.

The Florida Highway Patrol released a report over the weekend. It said the Camaro's diver, Alcazar,  passed the Nissan.  Once the Camaro was in front of the Nissan with the family in it, the Camaro lost control of the vehicle and the two cars hit each other. 

The FHP report said the Nissan swerved onto the median and then the pick-up truck ran over the top of the Nissan.

Ashley Merritt is Alcazar's wife. Merritt told our news partner, the Florida Times-Union, that her husband called her from jail on Saturday.

She said he told her a tire blew out on his car and he lost control of his Camaro.

Merritt also told the Times-Union that Alcazar had recently mentioned to her he had a nail in his tire and he wanted to get it repaired.

The pickup truck that hit the diverted Nissan was driven by Thomas Shaske, 45, of Kathleen, Fla. He was uninjured.

Riding as a passenger in the truck was Charlene Freeman, 27, of Kathleen. She was taken to Shands with minor injuries.

First Coast News

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