Sorrow has spread throughout Leon County as a kindergartner was killed in a vehicle crash Monday morning. The six-year-old boy was ejected from an SUV just a mile from his elementary school.
The Monday morning commute on Highway 20 came to a standstill around 7 a.m. Law enforcement officials say a blue SUV and beige Cadillac were traveling eastbound when the SUV slowed to make a left turn. Unaware, the driver of the Cadillac veered into the passing lane.
Ken Ellis with FHP says, “Then he swerved to get back in his lane, hit the rear of the SUV, forcing it to overturn, ejecting two children.”
Six-year-old Dennis Lamberton was pronounced dead at the scene, and just a mile away his principal, teachers and classmates soon received word.
Paul Green, principal of Fort Braden Elementary, says, “When we learned of the fatality we talked to the teacher and she shared with their class what happened in a very nice way.”
Residents who have lived on Highway 20 for more than 15 years say they rarely see accidents on this road, but when they do they are bad because people are going so fast.
But more than speed, law enforcement say there was another preventable factor. Seat belts were not in use in this crash. If it had been it would have been a survivable crash for the child.
Four other children were in the SUV. They were all taken to TMH with minor injuries. School officials at Fort Braden say they have grief counselors on standby. Charges in this case are pending.