As traffic came to a halt on I-75 at SR-70 (exit 217), a driver couldn’t stop and collided with two other vehicles. Sadly, this crash resulted in the death of one teenager. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the fatal accident in Manatee County took place on southbound I-75 at 6:20 p.m. on January 28, 2014.
A car with three teens on their way back home from Orlando was heading southbound on the interstate when traffic was stopped due to an overpass undergoing emergency construction. During the prior day, a piece of heavy equipment fell off of a flatbed truck and damaged the concrete overpass over University Parkway. Crews were fixing the damage, which led to major traffic in the area.
Nicholas Calton, the 19-year-old driver, was approaching the overpass when he failed to bring the car to a stop in time to avoid stopped traffic. As a result, he hit two cars and all three vehicles overturned. His was traveling with two passengers, Mikayla Brandt and Skylar Rhoden, both 19-years-old.
Sadly, Mikayla Brandt, of Naples, was killed in the accident. Authorities are not sure if she was wearing her seat belt. Her best friend Skylar Rhoden, of Bonita Springs, was seriously injured in the crash; however, it has been confirmed she was wearing her seat belt. She underwent surgery for her shattered wrist and is still at the hospital. The driver was also injured and remains at the hospital, but the extent of his injuries are unknown.
The people in the other vehicles that were hit also suffered injuries that were reported as minor injuries. Nicholas Calton was cited for careless driving.
The Mallard Law Firm is deeply saddened to hear of this fatal crash in Manatee County and wishes all those injured a full and fast recovery. We would also like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mikayla Brandt.