On Sunday morning, August 5, 2012, a tragic auto accident in North Port claimed the life of a 20-year-old man. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the fatal crash occurred shortly before 8 a.m. on Interstate 75, just east of Toledo Blade Boulevard.
Police identified the man who was killed in the wreck as Matthew Phillip Stephens, of North Port. Stephens was a passenger in a 1998 Pontiac Sunfire driven by Aphrodite Tayla Karys, 20, also of North Port. Karys reportedly was headed south on I-75 near mile marker 177 when she drove onto the shoulder of the highway.
When Karys tried to steer back onto the road, she overcorrected and crossed both southbound lanes of traffic before striking and passing beneath a cable barrier into the median. The car then hit some shrubbery and veered back into the cable barrier before coming to a stop.
Stephens died at the scene of the wreck. Karys and two other passengers in the car—Samantha Marie Johnson, 16, and Paige Ellen Phillips, 18, both of Port Charlotte—were taken to North Port ER to be treated for minor injuries.
The police noted that Karys and Johnson were wearing seat belts, but Stephens and Phillips were not. Alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the wreck.
The Sarasota injury lawyers at the Mallard Law Firm offer their condolences to the family and friends of Matthew Stephens.