Whitman Mother and Child, Grandmother Killed in Florida Car Crash
Three generations of a Southeastern Massachusetts family were killed in a crash Tuesday evening near Walt Disney World in Florida.
Officials say eight members of the Smith family were in a rented Toyota Sienna that was rear-ended by a pickup truck on Highway 429 near Celebration Florida. The van flipped over, killing 5-year-old Scarlett Smith of Whitman; her mother, 41-year-old Julie Smith of Whitman, and the girl's grandmother, 76-year-old Josephine Fay of South Weymouth.
An 11-year-old boy was airlifted to Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital where he remained in critical condition and on life support. Scarlett's twin sister, another 10-year-old sibling, and her father and grandfather were treated an released from the hospital.
Law enforcement officials said charges against the 26-year-old truck driver are pending.
On Wednesday, Whitman-Hanson Regional School District Superintendant Jeffrey Szymaniak confirmed that a sixth grade student from the district is in critical condition at a hospital in Florida, and that a fourth grade student was involved in the crash but not badly injured.
Scarlett Smith, who was a sister of the two Whitman-Hanson students, was enrolled at a private preschool in Whitman, Szymaniak said.
Szymaniak said counseling and administrative teams have been alerted of the incident, and plans are in place for supporting students and staff of the Whitman-Hanson community, even as the district is on February break.
"This is a tragedy, and I believe I express the sentiments of all families, students and employees of the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District in saying that we mourn together during this incredibly difficult time," Szymaniak said. "I encourage all families to have honest and open conversations with their children. We have activated all the resources at our disposal, and we will come together as a community to support each other and support our students who have suffered this terrible loss."
Anyone with questions or concerns may contact the Superintendent's office at (781) 618-7412.