More Than a Dozen Killed in South Florida Car Accidents

If you saw the Miami Herald story this morning about the ten South Floridians killed in car crashes between Saturday night and Sunday night... it gets worse.

In addition to the six deaths in Miami-Dade and four in Broward, there were three people killed in Palm Beach County over the weekend as well.

Two of those were in a single-car accident on Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, according to police. Twenty-four-year-old Brian Taveras was speeding toward Haverhill Road early Saturday morning when...

... he quickly changed lanes to avoid a car in front of him. When he swerved back into his lane, police say, he lost control of the car, spinning out and smashing into two trees. Both he and the 24-year-old woman in the car with him were dead on the scene.

The other person killed was 12-year-old Brandon Andrade, who police say was riding his bike down a private driveway on the 5800 block of Royal Palm Beach Boulevard when he "abruptly entered the roadway" and was immediately hit by a Chevy Blazer. He was pronounced dead at St. Mary's Hospital.

Andrade was the 31st traffic fatality of the year in Palm Beach County since the beginning of the year, including an accident Friday morning in which a drunk driver killed a drunk pedestrian in Lake Worth.

Although the Florida Highway Patrol hasn't released 2011 statistics yet, there were 123 traffic deaths in 2010 in Palm Beach County, plus 179 in Broward and 246 in Miami-Dade, which makes South Florida home to three of the state's top four counties for vehicular deaths. Those three counties accounted for more than 22 percent of all traffic deaths in the state; they also tallied almost 32 percent of the state's 195,104 traffic injuries.

Palm Beach Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera said there didn't seem to be a particular pattern to the accidents -- some have been single-car accidents, some involved many, some were pedestrians being hit by cars.

"It's just very tragic," she said.

The weekend deaths in Broward weren't as varied: All four killed were pedestrians, including a 5-year-old girl riding a Big Wheel in Fort Lauderdale and a 14-year-old skateboarder killed in Tamarac "in or near a crosswalk," according to a Broward Sheriff's Office statement.

Another pedestrian was hit in a Deerfield Beach church parking lot Sunday, when an 88-year-old woman reversed her Buick over a curb and ran over 66-year-old Luciana Porto of Lighthouse Point. The other death Sunday was a woman, seven months pregnant, at the Riverside Hotel on Las Olas Boulevard. She was in a bathroom near the pool when a woman veered off the road and plowed through the building.

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Rich Abdill