Minor Injuries After a Brake Failure Results in Crash and Sends Box Truck into a Pinellas Park KFC
Officers from the Pinellas Park Police Department (PPPD) responded to the scene of a vehicle crash where a large box truck has struck a second vehicle head-on at approximately 1:17 p.m. on Thursday, April 5, 2018.
Following to initial crash, the box truck then struck the front of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant building located on 66th Street N just north of Park Boulevard.
According to PPPD investigators, the 2004 white box truck driven by 26 year-old Edward Reyes-Garcia of Orlando, was traveling southbound on 66th Street in the 7600 block when the brakes on the truck failed.
Reyes-Garcia seeing stopped traffic in front of him, attempted to maneuver the box truck over the median into the northbound lanes of 66th Street that had less traffic at the time.
The box truck jumped the median and ended up striking a 2012 black GMC Pickup Truck being operated by 45 year-old Gary Briggs Jr. of St. Petersburg. Briggs was traveling northbound on 66th Street.
The box truck continued into the parking lot of the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) and struck the west wall of the building. Inside the KFC, 65 year-old Ann Lazarski and 76 year-old Edmund Lazarski of St. Petersburg were eating lunch at a table along the wall where the truck struck the building. Both of them received minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. Gary Briggs was also transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.
Neither Reyes-Garcia nor his passenger, 21 year-old Emanuel Castro, were injured.
Investigators conducted an inspection of the box truck’s brake system and located a malfunction of a small pin at the back of the brake pedal which caused the truck’s brakes to fail. The cause of the crash was determined to be a mechanical failure and the driver Reyes-Garcia was not charged with any traffic violations.
Pinellas Park building inspectors responded to the scene and it was determined that the damage to the building did not compromise the structural integrity of the building. The damaged area of the restaurant was secured and the business will continue to operate until such time as it becomes necessary to close for repairs.
The investigation is complete and no further updates are expected.