Two Killed In Pine Forest Road Crash (Updated With Details)

July 30, 2019

Two people were killed in a two vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon on Pine Forest Road at Wilde Lake Boulevard and I-10. Both were in a vehicle that split in half after striking a traffic signal pole.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 51-year old Wendell L. Jones of Pensacola was traveling north on Pine Forest Road at a high rate of speed in a 2010 Dodge Charger. He collided with a Toyota van driven by 81-year old Mary A. Simmons of Cantonment as she attempted to turn from southbound Pine Forest Road to I-10.  That caused the Charger to rotate into a traffic signal pole and split in half.

Jones was ejected and pronounced deceased on the scene. His passenger, 33- year old Laura Fulgham of Pensacola was also killed.

Simmons was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital with minor injuries. Her passengers, 8-year old  Ella Almond and 4-year old Grant Almond both of Cantonment, were treated and released at Sacred Heart, according to immediately family.

NorthEscambia.com photos by Kristi Barbour and traffic camera courtesy FDOT, click to enlarge.

Comments

49 Responses to “Two Killed In Pine Forest Road Crash (Updated With Details)”

  1. Bc850 on September 27th, 2019 5:25 pm

    I sold him that car a month before this with a blown engine. He was exited about the fact that it was a hemi. This is terrible

  2. Jim Miller on August 6th, 2019 6:59 am

    I have two teenagers I am (trying to) teach to drive. Go when it is clear after you see green. Go when it is clear! Because you cannot trust another driver to do what you expect. Yes, don’t speed.

  3. spookysrick on August 5th, 2019 5:39 pm

    I would like to know if Wendell went to Pace High in the 80s.

  4. treatothers on August 5th, 2019 1:07 pm

    When a live is lost, this is always very sad for all the families involved. Let us be careful with our words and instead put ourselves in their place. This will help us to be considerate and treat people the way we would want to be treated if we were in their place. I know if something bad happened to us, we would want the same. Let us keep all the people involved and their families in our prayers just as we would want others to do for us, because you never know what will happen today or tomorrow. There is no guarantee.

  5. Charlie on August 2nd, 2019 4:49 pm

    @Stumpknocker—Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think that dedicated turning lanes have only green ARROWS, & not as you describe, a solid green light.

  6. Stumpknocker on August 2nd, 2019 9:33 am

    Went by this intersection yesterday, maybe the driver of the van had just a solid green light instead of the actual green turn arrow. Either way the charger is gonna to be the prime contributing factors I believe due to excessive speed.

  7. Charlotte Bates on August 1st, 2019 11:56 pm

    Has anyone thought to think that yes, Simmons was turning left onto the interstate, but maybe she had the green turn signal to go, thinking that traffic coming from the opposite direction should have been stopped or coming to a stop.

  8. Sunny on August 1st, 2019 3:08 pm

    Skye’s post is correct with the details of the high rate of speed the charger was going.

    There was no slowing that car down so close to the light to be able to stop. My first thought was a driver showing off their muscle car. I knew something bad was going to happen sooner or later with a car going that fast on Pine Forest Road.

    I will tell you this – I was sitting in Ruby Tuesday’s at the time of this accident. I saw the speeding car go by, then took my eyes away to eat my lunch. I would have seen the accident happen, but instead heard a super loud bang and looked up. I saw the traffic light fall. I saw huge chunks of metal on the side of the road and later it was the car split in half. There were about 5 cars stopped in the intersection immediately after the crash and it was hard to tell what was what. Many people got out of their cars and was looking over the situation. Several vehicles had stopped on the ramp to I-10 Eastbound. Some people were running back to the accident scene. The traffic on Wilde Lake was stopped. . The red light monitors will find out who had the right of way in this case. But with a car going that fast, it’s hard to judge how much time you have to make a turn.

    I saw the children from the van be escorted to another vehicle and I didn’t see them go away in an ambulance. The grandma was taken by ambulance and appeared to be ok from the position she was on the stretcher. It was a good feeling that people had survived this accident. I did see about 3 bystanders attempt some assistance in the ditch North of the light pole. They assisted for a few minutes then left. Minutes later, EMS and Firetrucks arrived and were looking over in that direction.

    I will tell you, I have never seen an accident like this that my eyes were seconds away from witnessing. It was stomach turning.

    By the way, thumbs up to all the First Responders that arrived within 5 minutes after this happened.

    Charlotte Bates hit the nail on the head.

    Prayers for everyone involved !

  9. Beegee Ryals on August 1st, 2019 2:49 pm

    Robinhood……thank you for what you did to help this poor misguided lost soul…..and maybe he did turn his life around and maybe you will see him again,but just know that your care and concern blessed me today…….May God bless you today…

  10. john on August 1st, 2019 7:13 am

    How in the world could a person blame road design!!!! You can have signs for speed limit, no passing, keep left, keep right, yield, and people are still going to do what they want to do…… and that is exactly why things like this happen!

  11. Charlie on July 31st, 2019 7:43 pm

    First off, NO I wasn’t there. I have seen all of the photos from here & other sources. I have been reading all of the comments below from a few that appear to have been there, or there shortly afterward, & a few good descriptions of the accident scene area. After running a number of possible scenarios in my head from photos & comments, it is my opinion that grandma with her van, most probably had a green turning arrow & the right of way. The tremendous speed of the Dodge, was horrendous enough to cut it into two or more pieces, & it is MY opinion that he was trying to beat & run a red light, & didn’t have the right of way. Regardless of fault, a very sad situation for all involved. I repeat, right or wrong, only my opinion, as I wasn’t there.

  12. Robinhood on July 31st, 2019 5:50 pm

    I tried my best to get Wendell to turn his life around, talking with him about his life and where he has been. I had told him to look at his life and see where he is now and was it getting any better ??? I tried to get him to go to Church with me and just maybe hearing the word would touch his heart and make him change the road he has been going down. I had told him that putting the LORD in charge of his life that his life would turn around for the better. Have not seen Wendell for some time now but I hope and pray for his soul and pray he turned his life around because eternity is a LONG TIME and everyone needs to think about that and could have been one of us. Are you ready?

  13. Tom Vino on July 31st, 2019 1:55 pm

    Another terrible intersection designed by a FDOT engineer. Where do they find these people. Its about like the westbound ramp of I-10 from I-110. What were they thinking? Still no barriers in the apex of the turn. Into the trees they go, over and over again. People die at poorly designed curves and intersections. Sure, speed is almost always a factor but sometimes the careful drivers are victims too.

  14. David on July 31st, 2019 1:06 pm

    Reminds me of many wanting a red light at Bealuh and Mobile hiway..to keep people from running the stop sign there..it don’t matter what people say..lights and signs don’t cause death..and heartbreak…drivers bad decisions and mentality is what kills us. Laws don’t stop it either..sorry these people were killed and others hurt. With the human ..it will and has happened over and over.

  15. Suzie B on July 31st, 2019 12:13 pm

    I appreciate the fact that these comments are are legitimate discussion and reasonable speculation with rudeness.

    Before they put the little poles up on northbound Pine Forest for lane division, one could be easily fooled thinking someone was turning on to Wilde Lake but instead, they were coming straight. It’s still an odd curve that can fool you.

    The elderly lady was one of those that surprised me with her age. I guessed her to be 65-70 by her appearance and actions. She was trying to call family members, stay in charge of her situation and not panic. Mostly just worried about the kids. When I approached her, she was doing fairly well considering the impact, just worried about getting someone to come to the kids.

  16. For Petes Sake on July 31st, 2019 11:38 am

    This is horrible. People, PLEASE, slow your BUTT DOWN!!! These folks in Sports cars, this especially applies to YOU! I’ve never been one to push for Cop-laden roads but on these heavy traffic arteries, get ‘em out there! God help the family of the deceased. It’s tragic, and a lesson to the rest of us. Glad the grandma and kiddos are ok.

  17. Bob on July 31st, 2019 10:45 am

    As for nanny saying that 2 drivers are responsible. Yeah ok… but here’s the thing the minivan had the right of way with the green arrow and the charger was speeding extremely fast and went through a red light. So don’t start to say that the van cut him off. Just think more about this situation. Because anyone can see who was clearly at fault here. Let’s think outside the box

  18. L Kraft on July 31st, 2019 10:36 am

    I frequently travel the route the van was taking, with regard to the left turn into the I10 on-ramp. The left turn is a wide one.

    The oncoming northbound lanes curve just before the traffic signal and become four across — two straight lanes and a lane each for left and right turns. Sitting at the southbound left turn lane, depending on the number of oncoming cars, it is sometimes difficult to judge speed and placement of cars (ie., which lane are they in).

    I understand how this tragic accident may have occurred. My thoughts and prayers are with those involved in the accident, their families and friends.

  19. Bob on July 31st, 2019 10:35 am

    Ok here’s the thing. We can limit out the minivan cutting him off because that light was most likely red as he was going through and the minivan most likely had the right of way with a turn signal so honestly i don’t feel bad for the driver of the charger. I feel bad for the passenger because that was probably a situation of the passenger saying: slow down we’re not gonna make it but the driver just keeps going thinking he’s a racecar driver. So I’m sorry but i don’t feel bad for the charger driver just the passenger of that car because that was probably somewhere she wanted to be as he was speeding.

  20. k on July 31st, 2019 10:33 am

    let’s do the math on this one…

    100 miles an hour = 160 feet per second.

    from the left turn lane looking south towards the mcdonald’s the farthest you can see with no other cars coming is about 350 feet. pine forest road curves and drops slightly downhill past that point, obscuring oncoming traffic. fine for speeds of about 45 miles an hour…

    time necessary to complete the turn from the left turn lane onto the I10 eastbound ramp is seven to ten seconds. longer if you’re taking your time because you’re the only one at the turn arrow when it turns green.

    at 100 miles an hour the Dodge was not even in the mini-van’s field of view when the arrow turned green and she began her turn.

    the only requirement for the minivan driver to be in the clear on this is whether or not the arrow was green when she turned.

  21. Skye on July 31st, 2019 9:51 am

    I’m not sure if the driver of the mini van was at fault for the move she made or the driver of Dodge Charger. Or both was at fault. Because if the driver of the minivan looked ahead and seen and heard what I seen, she could’ve waited in that turning lane until the Dodge Charger passed by instead of trying to drive out into the intersection heading for the interstate at that moment and time. It seemed like the driver of the Dodge Charger was trying to make the light before it turned red and so was she. But it had turned yellow.

  22. John Doe on July 31st, 2019 9:26 am

    It matters not what the van did, there is no way that charger was driving anywhere close to the speed limit. I’m sorry for him, his passenger and his family but when you see a car ripped in half like that, you have to realize that it takes a ton of kinetic energy to do that and my hunch is the Toyota minivan didn’t provide much. Slow down people and wear your seatbelts!!!

  23. Will on July 31st, 2019 8:20 am

    That turn into I-10 is very dangerous! I cringe every time I have to make it. People go so fast heading north on Pine Forest, and because of the curve it can be difficult to judge their speed accurately. I’m not at all surprised that this happened, and until the DOT does something about it, it will continue to claim lives.

  24. greg on July 31st, 2019 8:06 am

    Please understand that we are all trained drivers. If you look up to see if you can go across traffic, you are TRAIINED through countless events how much time you have to get through. If someone is doubling or tripling their speed from the speed limit, your training can fool you as the time you have is cut in half or a third. It doesn’t matter if you are 21 or 81, you may not have time to correct.

    Also, before we judge – maybe Mr Jones was having a medical emergency, seizure, heart attack etc. Throttle stuck? things happen. We should wait and see.

  25. Rick on July 31st, 2019 7:30 am

    A real tragedy that was avoidable, however in truth most crashes are avoidable if everyone drives with respect, obey traffic laws, don’t drive distracted (cell phones, passengers), watch the road and other drivers and be patient. Sadly there initially appears two things caused the crash excessive speed and failure to yield the right a way. Such a shame that lives were lost and injuries were treated. Let’s all drive with a little more sense and avoid some of these incidents.

  26. Suzie B on July 31st, 2019 3:34 am

    First off, thank you North Escambia for respectful reporting.

    @John – I spoke to the children numerous times explaining that Grammy was going to go in the ambulance to get checked out. The kids were ok and being kept out of the heat by someone who offered to help. Many medical personnel checked with the children to make sure of their condition. Someone who knows the children and family said the grandmother was doing ok, had a broken wrist and a few more injuries but overall, seemed ok on his visit with her at the hospital. I don’t know why the various sources kept saying the children were in serious condition, They left with a family member.

    There is a green turn arrow at that location. If the lady driving the van had that arrow, the Charger would have had a red light. I got there right after it happened so I don’t know all of the details, just heard witnesses saying the Charger was going extremely fast. Very sad situation for all and for those family members on this post, I’m so sorry for your losses. Many people did try to help.

  27. Ben on July 31st, 2019 3:17 am

    Such a preventable tragedy.. if the driver truly was speeding then the reaction time of an 81 year old driver was probably not to the task.. horrible accident…

  28. Imelda Joyce Shirah Oliver,,, on July 31st, 2019 2:50 am

    my nephew has 2, almost 18 yrs old twins.his friend died in the accident, leaving 2 children behind.. familys all involved are devasted, as well as other family and friends. I pray everyday for my family and prayers go up for every family member associated with this tradegy My Heart is broken losing my sister month ago , and now my nephew. . Please say prayers for for all. God is God in the Bad Times and he is still our God in The good Times.

  29. Skye on July 31st, 2019 2:44 am

    And simultaneously the driver of the minivan was turning into the intersection heading toward the interstate. That’s when the nose of her minivan was struck by the Dodge Charger and then the Dodge Charger went off to the right of the minivan away from it and slammed into the light pole at Wild Lake Blvd and Pine Forest Rd. I was blown away at how quick it hit that pole and broke into what looked like 3 pieces. Causing the traffic light to hang from where it was posted position.

  30. Skye on July 31st, 2019 2:38 am

    So if the driver of the Dodge Charger would’ve slowed down to eventually “stop” at the light and if the driver of the minivan would’ve stayed put in that turning lane and let the red light catch her, Maybe all of that could have been avoided. All I know is the driver of that Dodge Charger was coming down Pine Forest Rd. at super HIGH speed to the point I heard his engine roaring very LOUD like a NASCAR race car engine as he was approaching the light at the intersection of Pine Forest Rd. & Wild Lake Blvd.

  31. Cindy worley on July 31st, 2019 12:45 am

    Laura is my son’s couisn on his dad’s side. Laura was always such a sweet girl when she was growing up. Always spending the night with us.♥️ I’m sorry and sad to see this. Praying

  32. Margie Delcambre on July 31st, 2019 12:32 am

    This is my nephew and the family is in great need of prayers. We just buried his mom my sister one month ago. This is so heart breaking. He also has two children in high school. So very sad.

  33. Jennifer Knudsen on July 30th, 2019 11:56 pm

    My heart is devastated by the tragic accidents of the last few days…May peace surround all those involved

  34. Nanny on July 30th, 2019 11:28 pm

    Everyone is totally blaming the driver of the charger, but, there are 2 drivers responsible for this horrible tragedy. Mr. Jones was traveling way to fast but Ms. Simmons turned in front of Mr. Jones. Something to think about. Prayers for the family of the deceased and for the others that were injured in this preventable accident.

  35. Stephen on July 30th, 2019 11:25 pm

    I am terriblely sorry for the family who lost their love ones I am going to pursue my dreams as a firefighter in Escambia and I will promise to try my best on every call I get and I just wish people would SLOW DOWN!!!!

  36. Require Driver testing anually for those over 70 on July 30th, 2019 10:51 pm

    Anyone stopped to think it’s possible the minivan cut him off causing it? Driving abilities lessen & reaction times slow when your age increases. Attention spans lessen when there are children in the car. Don’t be so quick to judge, there may have been circumstances you don’t know about. While speed may have been indicated, it may not be the only factor.
    Just pray for the families.

  37. Southernraceway on July 30th, 2019 10:19 pm

    @ynkerose21 if you’re not first you’re last.

  38. Patriot on July 30th, 2019 9:50 pm

    Maybe posting the photos might make someone else use their brain and slow down and wear a seatbelt.

  39. john on July 30th, 2019 9:31 pm

    Praying for the elder lady and young children.

    I must mention, vehicles are designed to protect passengers up to 45mph. Anything over that you will probably face serious injury or death. THEY ARE NOT DESIGNED FOR RACING OR CRASHES! People please please slow down for the love of God! Why in the hell do people have to drive like this!

    North Escambia, please keep up to date on the elder lady and children if possible?

  40. Charlotte Bates on July 30th, 2019 9:06 pm

    It’s not the road that’s dangerous, it’s the driver, speed, and not paying attention. Praying for the families and friends, and praying for the ones that didn’t make it. such a horrible tragic situation.

  41. Charlotte Bates on July 30th, 2019 9:04 pm

    Has nothing to do with roads, it has everything to do with drivers, speed, and not paying attention.

  42. ynkerose21 on July 30th, 2019 9:01 pm

    I am so tired of seeing these chargers, mustang, camoro’s, and crotch rockets hauling ass. For what, to see who can die the fastest! Its ridiculous and it needs to stop! Its senseless! Is showing off really that big of a deal? Grow up people!

  43. Charlie Dillard on July 30th, 2019 8:34 pm

    North Escambia keep up the good work. Thanks for the respect you always show for every family. William you get a A+!
    Now everyone please slow down.
    God Bless all.

  44. mick on July 30th, 2019 8:27 pm

    The roads are dangerous everyday, too many cars, too many people in a hurry – rules of the road are non-existent much less common courtesy. The days of a pleasurable drive are long gone – now defensive driving is a must due to the drunks ,texting, and lack of basic driving skills. This is a terrible tragedy and much too commonplace…

  45. Judith Deese on July 30th, 2019 8:27 pm

    We don’t need to know the names, God already knows them. But we do need to pray for the families, and the unfortunate witness. God I as you to hold them all in your loving arms. Amen

  46. John Q. Public on July 30th, 2019 7:58 pm

    Probably the worst accident scene I’ve ever come across. Wish the sheriff’s dept had done more to disperse the crowd that grew at the corner there.

  47. Mike on July 30th, 2019 7:04 pm

    Sad

  48. Mike on July 30th, 2019 7:02 pm

    This was sad to see. Pine Forest Rd is a dangerous road to traverse. Every week there is a incident. They should have the county or state patrolling that road everyday

  49. Jason on July 30th, 2019 5:33 pm

    The roadways have been a dangerous place these last few days…….





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