The St. Petersburg community is trying to come to terms with a horrific accident that took the lives of five people, including three sisters returning from a church convention.
According to the Tampa Tribune, a pickup truck driven by Jennifer Zuniga hydroplaned on State Road 70 in DeSoto County on Aug. 9, causing the truck to spin and cross the centerline into the oncoming lane of traffic.
The driver of a Volkswagen Passat tried to avoid the pickup by swerving onto the highway shoulder, but struck the rear of the pickup. The collision killed all four occupants of the Volkswagen: sisters LaMour Welch, India Welch, Tehira Welch and their friend Antwayne Robinson. The driver of the pickup also was killed and her six-year-old son who was wearing a seat belt survived the accident. The boy was taken to Tampa General Hospital with critical injuries.
The Welch sisters were well-respected singers and were returning with a singing partner from a church convocation in Fort Pierce when the accident occurred. India was a former class president at Gibbs High School, and worked as a community liaison at Bay Point Middle School, according to the Tampa Bay Times. LaMour worked as a nurse and Tahira was a rising senior at Gibbs High School.
The father of the three young women, Pastor Richard Welch of Prayer Tower Church of God in Christ in St. Petersburg, said that the loss had caused an inexpressible hole in his heart, but that he still put faith in God’s plan.
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the accident. The area near the site of the accident had received approximately a half-inch of rain.
Ken Welch, a Pinellas County commissioner and uncle of the three sisters, said a GoFundMe page, Welch Angels Fund, had been created to help cover the cost of funeral expenses of the three women and to help with the education of LaMour Welch’s three children. More than $10,000 was pledged in the first day the fund was set up. It’s heartening to see the outpouring of community support for the bereaved family.
No family should have to bear the burden of funeral expenses of burying three children after a fatal accident that wasn’t their fault.
A family that has been harmed by the loss of a loved one may be entitled to seek compensation from an at-fault driver’s insurance company to cover funeral expenses and other losses.
Each accident has its own set of facts.
It is important after such a tragic accident to let an experienced car accident lawyer review the specific facts of the accident and explain your legal options. There is no charge for the consultation or for pursuing a legal action.