One Dead, Two Critically Injured After Being Rear-ended By ECUA Truck

October 9, 2019

One person is dead after a collision with an Emerald Coast Utilities Authority vehicle on Perdido Key Tuesday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said 19-year old Victor Hernandez Rogel was driving a Ford F250 ECUA maintenance truck east on Perdido Key Drive when he rear-ended a Chevrolet Captiva that was slowing in front of him.

A passenger in the Chevrolet, 60-year old Melissa Farmer of Portland, Tennessee, was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver, 20-year old Ashley Farmer, and a passenger, 22-year old Jacob Farmer, were both airlifted to South Baldwin Hospital in critical condition. Robel was transported to Baptist Hospital with minor injuries.

Any charges are pending the outcome a traffic homicide investigation, according to FHP.


20 Responses to “One Dead, Two Critically Injured After Being Rear-ended By ECUA Truck”

  1. Tammy M on October 15th, 2019 10:47 pm

    My first reaction to my son telling me about Mrs. Farmer dying was disbelief. I had to have him repeat himself two or three times because our small community never experiences things such as this. Mrs. Farmer was teacher to everyone of my nieces and nephews (including my son who told me) with my eldest niece at 22 now so she’s been a fixture in our life’s for a very long time. She was an awesome lady that everyone adored. This tragedy should never have happened. Nobody on this forum was there so no one knows exactly what happened yet. We need to pray for everyone involved plus their families and friends. This is never an easy thing to go through. My prayers will not only be said for the Farmers but also to that young man that rear ended them. May God keep and shelter them in the palm of his hand and walk beside them in this darkness and for the rest of their lives. Amen.

  2. Marlo on October 13th, 2019 9:25 am

    I’m sorry but with as many speaking about her compassion for human kind, do you really think that she would want this man convicted? Accidents happen! What if it was the other way around? Would you want her convicted for a accident? Before you speak of compassion know what it is! If it was truly a accident do you feel he should have the compassion of forgiveness. Just remember it could be you tomorrow, that make the wrong turn, or accidentally rear ends someone. This world needs more forgiveness. God had bigger plans for her and no matter what pain we might be feeling on this earth….she’s dancing with the angels. So sorry for your loss. My condolences

  3. Draven on October 11th, 2019 12:34 pm

    For the time being, screw the money. My friend lost her mother. You wanna place the blame, say it was dreded fate, but dont take and say things you know you would not want said about you or your children after a horrible time like this. Mrs. Farmer was an amazing teacher, who happened to be my 5th grade educator, and, this year, she had my little sister in her 1st grade class. Ashley was in my class throughout elementary school and to this day we still talk back and forth. She just started a career quite similar to her mom’s.

  4. Lori Dale on October 10th, 2019 9:27 am

    I know this family and Ashley the driver is my daughters roommate. She is a beautiful girl who now has to live with the tragedy of this. She is a careful driver and was headed to vacation time with her family. She was not pulling out. She was slowing down.
    Although that young man did not set out to kill somebody, I hope that justice is served and he is charged to the fullest extent of the law. To be going that fast that he could not of slowed down, to hit another vehicle with such an impact with a utility truck no less, he needs to be held accountable for his actions.
    Please pray for this family.

  5. Debbie on October 10th, 2019 7:01 am

    I would like to tell you about the precious lady that was killed. Mrs. Farmer was an amazing veteran teacher and had lovingly educated over 400 elementary children. She had a sweet little class this year that is now without a teacher. She loved technology and was the sponsor of the robotics club at Oakmont. She was the lead teacher and the one who you went to if you needed help. Mrs.Farmer loved to read- she and I have swapped many books. She leaves behind 2 children who were extremely close to their mom- She had struggled to have children and finally did in her late 30’s and she had lost one so these were very precious to her. She was a very strong lady who had gone thru cancer and had finally been declared cancer free. So when you talk about her and her family and what they lost – now you know more about her

  6. Mark on October 10th, 2019 2:24 am

    “This time next week, I’ll be laying on the beach enjoying the peaceful sounds of the waves!”
    Mrs Farmer told this to her small group of students this before releasing them from their STEM work group last week. My 10 yr old daughter was one of those students. My 8 yr old son was her student last year.
    Mrs Farmer was a kind, caring teacher. Her death will impact many students and parents.

  7. Bama Girl on October 9th, 2019 10:01 pm

    Not sure if this was even a factor, I’m just going to put it out there as a reminder…put the phones down.. it’s not worth ruining your life and or anyone else’s.

  8. Johnny Cochrain on October 9th, 2019 9:30 pm

    If you don’t think ECUA can be sued for millions for negligence on this case or any other when loss of life, limb or sight is involved has occurred then you dear reader are ignorant….. All it takes is the appropriate law firm with the proper resources to get the J.O.B. done.

    Sit down

  9. John Bodie on October 9th, 2019 7:32 pm

    First you can’t sue a government agency like the ECUA unless approved by the legislature for much if any over 100, 000 , because it could have terrible effects on their operation. And you can’t blame roads for causing accidents. Roads don’t cause wrecks, rain doesn’t cause wrecks, people cause wrecks. Just drive safe.

  10. Creig Speed on October 9th, 2019 7:16 pm

    How fast could this guy be driving to rear end someone and kill 1 person and send 2 by air in critical condition?Story says the car was slowing in front of the truck when it was hit so it was the ecua driver at fault. ECUA will be forking out big money to those folks from Tennessee. Unfortunately the money wont help the grief of the family but maybe will make the lives of the injured people easier. As for the ecua driver he will have to live with this forever.

  11. Another thot on October 9th, 2019 6:21 pm

    I’m simply astonished how many readers witnessed this event, have determined all parties at fault, have already pressed charges, convicted, and filed lawsuits on behalf of the injured and deceased.

  12. David Huie Green on October 9th, 2019 2:16 pm

    “in the past years a Commercial Vehicle Driver had to be at least 21 before they could hold license.”

    From Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles:
    “Applicants must be at least 18 years of age. If they are under 21, they will be restricted to intrastate operation only.”

    David for consolation

  13. Bob C. on October 9th, 2019 1:31 pm

    Perdido Key Drive, Sorrento Road are both TOO Busy and heavily traveled to still be 2-lane roads. They are both thoroughfares and Not easy slow idyllic drives as some would wish for them to be.
    Yes, sure, Many other roads in Escambia County are Dangerous.

    Perhaps this could have not happened had the road been better and safer.
    Sorrows for the family that lost a loved one.

  14. NativeTongue on October 9th, 2019 12:24 pm

    @ the ambulancechaser a person lost their life, show some respect and wait a few days to discuss the financial impacts this will have on your bill.

    To the Farmer family, I pray you find comfort and peace. I’m sorry that you’re going through this knowing it likely could have been prevented. I pray the responsible party receives the punishment they deserve and those who deserve it, receive justice.

  15. Bill on October 9th, 2019 12:15 pm

    This family from Tn should sue the hell out of the ECUA !!!!!!

  16. maybe on October 9th, 2019 11:49 am

    One of many, how do you know it was the ECUA driver’s fault? Have you ever driven down on perdido key and been behind a tourist who makes a sudden stop? This ECUA driver may have been going about a normal day and these folks pulled out in front of him and/or made a sudden stop. All it does is encourage an ambulance chasing lawyer though and will be settled out of court regardless of fault.

  17. Matt on October 9th, 2019 11:39 am

    Last I checked this was an accident I am sure this young man did not wake up and say today I want to kill somebody! Yes we live in a sue happy society but no amount of money replaces a life maybe you have a price in mind since you are an attorney? What about this young man the rest of his life he has to live with the fact he took a life ever think of that Mr. Lawyer? Accidents happen every day why called an accident not an on purpose. Yes ECUA will suffer but like any company they have safety protocols in line

  18. MICHAEL O on October 9th, 2019 10:45 am

    @One of many….. who is to say that the family did not pull out in front of the ECUA truck and caused the accident? You might just be standing in the wrong line, buddy.

  19. Concerned on October 9th, 2019 10:31 am

    If the ECUA truck is considered a Commercial truck; in the past years a Commercial Vehicle Driver had to be at least 21 before they could hold license. Prayers for the families involved.

  20. One of many lawyers standing in line. on October 9th, 2019 8:15 am

    Everyone’s rates are going up soon after this unfortunate Tn. family sues ECUA for “MILLIONS” I hope someone at ECUA gets the message and is help responsible and tamps down their employee’s often careless and irresponsible drivers.

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