3 Girls Dead After SUV Carrying 11 People Flips

8 injured after tire malfunction caused driver to lose control
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2016 7:24 AM CDT
3 Dead After SUV Crammed With 11 People Flips
The white Dodge Durango that crashed, killing three young girls.   (NBC News)

Eleven people crammed into an SUV made to carry seven veered out of control Monday night on a Florida highway, killing three and injuring the other eight, NBC News reports. The Dodge Durango was traveling north on I-95 near Titusville around 6:30pm when it apparently suffered what Florida Highway Patrol officials say was a tire malfunction, leading the driver to lose control and the car to flip a few times, WESH reports. Four passengers were ejected, including a toddler in a car seat. The driver, identified by the FHP as 34-year Latorya Brown, was wearing a seatbelt and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, cops tell Florida Today. The three people who died were all said to be girls under the age of 18, per the FHP, while the toddler, who was lofted over what various sources say was a 25- to 30-foot-high barrier wall, was found in the nearby yard of an unoccupied home.

"When they arrived on scene, officers, troopers, and deputies heard the crying and found the child on the other side of the wall," FHP spokesman Steve Montiero says. The child was brought to a local hospital and is in stable condition. Meanwhile, officials are trying to figure out why so many people were in a car that didn't have enough seatbelts for everyone. "We're talking 11 people inside of an SUV," Montiero says, per News 6. "I don't know any SUV that fits 11 people inside of it." He adds, per Florida Today, "Obviously someone was not belted. We're going to begin to look into that and determine what kind of charges will go from there." (A fiery Memorial Day crash in California in 2013 left five teens dead.)

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