A Florida Highway Patrol trooper who rear-ended an SUV on I-75 nearly two weeks ago, injuring three occupants and killing an unborn child, failed to see the vehicle in time, according to a crash report obtained Wednesday.
The report gives no reason why Trooper Gustavo L. Reyes did not notice the 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee until it was too late as he approached it from behind. The crash occurred around 9:15 p.m. on Feb. 15 about one mile south of the Colonial Boulevard exit.
Once Reyes realized he was about to hit the vehicle, he swerved left to avoid it, the report states. The driver of the other vehicle, Christopher McClure, swerved right when he saw Reyes wasn’t slowing down.
But the trooper’s cruiser struck the left rear of the SUV, causing it to spin and flip multiple times. McClure, along with his pregnant wife, Crystal McClure, were ejected from the vehicle. They were wearing seatbelts, but Christopher told troopers the seat belts were known to malfunction.
Crystal, who is still in the hospital and listed in fair condition, lost the child, named Christian McClure. She was 22 weeks pregnant. The child was pronounced dead the following day.
The couple’s 1-year-old son, Christopher, was also in the car but was not ejected. The father and son were brought to the hospital but have been released.
According to the crash report, Reyes was found to have operated his vehicle in a careless or negligent manner.
FHP spokesman Lt. Greg Bueno said there is an ongoing traffic homicide investigation, which could take more than 60 days to complete. Once it is finished, the crash report will be updated to include any applicable charges, Bueno said.
In the meantime, Reyes has been placed on desk duty, he said.