A jury has ordered a local landscaping and excavation company to pay the estate and families of four tourists who died in a 2018 automobile accident nearly $12 million in damages.
The estates of the families of the four tourists from Spain sued Discount Rock and Sand of Marathon, and a jury in federal court in Key West on Friday awarded the estates $11.8 million, according to attorney Paul Jon Layne, who represented the estates.
All four people who died in a fatal multivehicle crash on March 5, 2018, were visiting the Florida Keys from Spain. Those who died in the crash on U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 79.2 were Margarita Cortes-Pardo, 31, of Illes Balears, Spain; Maria Lopez-Bermejo Rossello, 31, and Teresa Sanchez Quetglas, 30, both of Mallorca, Spain; and Ana Gaitan Diaz, 31, of Cordoba, Spain, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
All four were pronounced dead at the scene. They were traveling north on U.S. 1 in a 2018 Nissan Rogue that was struck from behind by a Discount Rock and Sand truck and pushed into the pathway of a southbound RV, struck again and pushed into a tree.
“It was a horrific scene,” Layne said.
The other drivers and passengers involved in the three-vehicle crash suffered non-life threatening injuries, the FHP said at the time of the crash.
Layne argued the driver of the truck, Carlos Blanco, did not have the proper training or skill to drive the truck, wasn’t paying attention and was speeding at the time of the crash, Layne said. Blanco was traveling at a speed of 64 mph in a 55 mph zone, Layne said.
The owner of Discount Rock and Sand did not return a telephone call seeking comment.