Driving on the Florida beaches in designated areas is a fun past time that dates back to the first automobiles. Vehicles can only be driven in certain areas during certain times of the day and only when the tide conditions permit. Some beaches, especially those known for nesting sea turtles, may prohibit driving during their nesting season. Drivers must pay for access to drive on many of these beaches and follow strict speed limits, many as low as 10 m.p.h. They must also give way to sunbathers and pedestrians. Despite these laws and guidelines, accidents do happen
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported as a family packed up to go home from their visit to Ormond-by-the-Sea, the only other people on the beach were two kite surfers who were farther than 100 yards from the shore. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a car crashed through the barrier separating the parking lot from the beach and ran down four children. All the children suffered injuries that required hospitalization but were not life-threatening.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as 82-year-old William Johnson of Yarmouth, Massachusetts. According to police, Johnson lost control while driving State Road A1A north. Johnson attempted a U-turn, drifted onto one shoulder, and wound up plowing through the beach parking lot. The vehicle then struck a pole and dropped 20 feet onto the beach, striking one of the children, who suffered from serious head injuries.
The driver was also taken to the hospital with injuries.
This is the first Volusia County beach accident involving a vehicle and pedestrians this year. Last year, there were five incidents.