VENICE — A Venice teenager was killed and four other Venice teens were injured in a crash along Alligator Alley near Naples on Tuesday morning.
The teenager killed was a passenger in a sedan traveling northbound near Mile Marker 65. The victim was identified as a 16-year-old boy.
The driver of the sedan was following a northbound semitruck/trailer about 9:10 a.m.
“The front right of (the sedan) struck the left rear of (the semi),” the Florida Highway Patrol said in its news release. “Vehicle 1 (the sedan) traveled off the roadway, over-corrected into the median, overturned and struck a guardrail.”
Two others were seriously injured, the FHP said. The other teens suffered minor injuries.
The names of those involved were not released, per FHP policy.
The driver of the sedan was a 17-year-old boy from Venice. He received minor injuries. The tractor-trailer, driven by a 63-year-old man from Pompano Beach, was headed north on Interstate 75 at Mile Marker 65.
After overturning, the vehicle came to rest in an upright position in the northbound lanes of I-75.
Along with the 16-year-old boy who was killed, a 16-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy suffered serious injuries; another 16-year-old boy and the driver both received minor injuries.
The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured.
The FHP report stated only one of the five Venice teens in the car was wearing a seat belt — the girl.
The crash closed traffic in both directions for more than two hours to make room for at least two helicopters to land.
The crash remains under investigation.
Venice High School Principal Eric Jackson released a statement late Tuesday about the fatal crash.
“Today has been a sad day for our school community,” Jackson wrote to Venice High School student families. “We recently learned that one of our students passed away in a car accident that involved a total of five VHS students. Four students are receiving treatment at the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families impacted by this tragic accident.”
Jackson said school counselors and a crisis response team will be at Venice High School starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, he said. He noted anyone coming to the school must check in with the main office “and adhere to CDC and DOH guidelines.”
“We will also be offering counseling services via Zoom,” he said. “Please call the school if you would like to schedule a virtual meeting. As always, thank you for being a part of the Venice High School family.”