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Three Dead After SUV Crashes Into Lake in Deerfield Beach

Following a three-car crash in Deerfield Beach, three are dead, one is on life support and an SUV is in a lake.

Late on Wednesday night, officials were called to the southbound side of I-95 between Hillsboro and SW 10th Street after a 2000 Lexus RX 300 crashed through a chain-link fence and plunged into a lake. The group in the car was on the way home from the mall when the accident took place.

Officers were able to pull Sandalie Jean-batiste,20, the sole survivor from the vehicle, and also found Nadege Theodore, 37, and Guivens Daverman, 16, in the canal. All were in cardiac arrest when they were transported to Broward Health North, were Theodore and Daverman were pronounced dead.

Rescuers were not aware that a fourth person, Lynn Theodore, was in the vehicle at the time of the accident, and did not find the 15-year-old until Thursday morning. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to reports, it took officers four minutes to locate the scene of the accident, and another 10 minutes to get divers into the water. The vehicle landed into the lake after colliding with two other vehicles. However, no one else was injured in the collision and no drivers have been charged. Police are still investigating the accident, and do not know if excessive speed or alcohol were factors.

Florida is the leading state for motor vehicle drowning fatalities, with an average of 57 deaths a year. On average, there are over 300 fatalities linked to a vehicle submerging into water. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most of the submersion events were preceded by impacts or rollover that likely may have been severe enough to cause injury or even death to the occupants.

Overall, the victim was not using any form of restraint system 52 percent of the time. This statistic is important because restraint use is highly effective in preventing fatalities. In 2009, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 12,713 lives. Seat belts have saved over 72,000 lives during the 5-year period from 2005 through 2009.

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Source: The Miami Herald, "Three Dead after SUV plunges into lake in Deerfield Beach," Jan. 3, 2013.

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