Head-on collisions hardly ever have happy endings, but the one that occurred on November 24 was perhaps a particularly sad case. Two young people in love, just expecting their first child, were killed in a violent head-on collision on Interstate 75 in Gibsonton. Justin Lakin, 21 years old, of Bradenton, Florida also died in that crash. He was driving on the wrong side of the highway; we may never know why. The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating this terrible incident.
ENGAGED AND EXPECTING
LaShay (Shay to his friends) Waiters proposed on October 25 to Yvette Alexandre with a host of family and friends looking on. Waiters made the proposal traditional by getting down on one knee. Alexandre said, Yes. Two weeks later, Alexandre discovered she was pregnant – a surprise and a joy for the newly engaged couple who were looking forward to starting this journey together.
Waiters was 24 years old and Alexandre was 21. They met at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Alexandre moved to Lutz when she was just five years old, attended middle school in Thonotosassa at Terrace Community, and graduated from Tampa Bay Technical High School in 2014. She attended Brown Memorial Church of God in Christ in Tampa every Sunday, where she sang and danced in her joy to the Lord, her father stated. Waiters was born in Bradenton and graduated from Braden River High School. He wanted to study sports medicine and become a team doctor in the National Football League. He had a passion for children and he had a great sense of humor, his mother reported.
Waiters was driving his mother’s 2009 Ford Focus, heading south, going back to her house about 10:00 p.m. Justin Lakin was driving a 2012 Toyota Corolla north in a southbound lane, in the center of the road. The head-on collision took place just south of Gibsonton Drive, around Exit 250. All three were wearing seat belts. Emergency personnel had to remove the roof from Waiters and Alexandre’s car to get them out as the crash left the car crumpled. All three died at Tampa General Hospital. Alcohol was not immediately suspected but the investigation is ongoing.
HOW CAN YOU AVOID A HEAD-ON COLLISION?
In the case mentioned above, it’s not clear there would have been a way to avoid the situation. Waiters and Alexandre certainly weren’t expecting another vehicle to come right at them, going the opposite direction of the traffic flow. Obviously, head-on collisions can be the most severe and dangerous due to the high speeds of travel and the unexpectedness of the event. Driving, however, is an activity fraught with variable factors outside the driver’s control. Wearing seat belts and owning a vehicle with air bags should be able to mitigate some of the risks, but, sadly, not all. All three of the individuals mentioned above were wearing their seatbelts. If you are able to see a vehicle coming at you in time to do something, there are a couple of recommendations from driversed.com:
- Stop quickly
- Turn quickly
- Speed up
In many instances, if you do have time to see a vehicle barreling down on you, your first instinct might be to panic. If you can think about these situations ahead of time, and try to devise a plan in your head, you never know when it might be helpful if you find yourself in a dangerous situation.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a head-on collision, tell your story to a personal injury attorney. Attorneys can’t un-do the trauma of the accident, but we can help get just compensation for the victims or their family of such a horrific accident.