Six people were injured, and a one-year-old is believed to have died after a pickup truck overturned along the alligator in West Broward, according to rescue crews.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue teams responded to the scene along the eastbound lanes of Interstate 75, near Mile Marker 28, at approximately 4:30 PM.
“The call came to a capsized vehicle with seven passengers who were injured, plus a one-year-old child who may have been kicked out of the car,” BSFR chief Michael Kane said in a phone interview. “We are trying to locate [the child] at this time.”
7Skyforce HD flew over the crash site where water search crews could be seen with an air boat, search in the vicinity using heat search technology, and walk close to the vehicle on foot, and divers could be seen in the water as well.
“Given the type of rollover that occurred here, we don’t expect the child to be too far from the car,” said Kane. “From the car’s resting place, they are working and working in close proximity to that car. The expectation is that if the child is expelled, the child will be very close to the car.”
Some of the rescue kits assisting BSFR in their search for the child include the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Sunrise Fire Rescue, and City of Weston Fire Rescue.
“We have about 20 assets now at the scene,” said Ken. “We are searching from the air with our helicopters. We are searching from the ground using our ground assets, as well as using the K-9 search dog in the scene.”
Rescue crews shifted their mission from search and rescue to search and recovery around 6 pm. Officials said the child was presumed dead.
“At this point in time, with the window of opportunity still closed, we are moving from a rescue operation to a recovery process,” said Ken. “We are still committed to finding this baby, but it is evident that, over time, hopes that the child will be alive may diminish, unfortunately.”
Paramedics took at least three people to Broward Health Medical Center. Officials said three others got off the car in good condition and were driving around after the accident.
“A number of patients have been infected and are being transferred to some local hospitals,” said Ken.
It is still not known how the child was thrown from the car, and it also remains unclear whether the child was restrained or in a car seat prior to the accident.
The authorities closed the eastern lanes of the highway for the landing of an air rescue helicopter.
A tow truck arrived at the scene to lift the truck from the swamp.
The cause of the crash remains unclear, but officials believe the truck was the only vehicle involved in the accident.