WHITMAN — The town of Whitman awakened with heavy hearts Wednesday as they learned that a local family has been involved in a fatal crash in Florida, claiming the lives of three family members.
Julie Smith, 41, and her mother — grandmother Josephine Fay of South Weymouth were both killed along with daughter Scarlett Smith, 5, of Whitman. All three were pronounced dead at the crash scene, according to reports.
The family was on February vacation in Orlando.
The fatal crash occurred Tuesday around 5:30 p.m. in Osceola County, Fla. The crash is actively under investigation, according to Florida Highway Patrol Public Affairs Officer Lt. Kim Montes, in a prepared statement.
The multiple vehicle collision occurred on the southbound side of Route 429. The van the family was in rolled over after it was struck from behind.
Shane Smith, 43, of Whitman along with the children’s maternal grandfather William Fay, 76, of South Weymouth were released from the hospital on Tuesday night.
Two other daughters, Shalie, 10, and Scarlett’s twin sister Skylar, 5, were also released from the hospital.
Jaxon Smith, who is 11, remained in critical condition on life support Wednesday morning as of press time.
Additional support of state troopers and a victim advocate were assigned to the family, according to Montes.
More information, including comments from the Whitman Hanson School District and services for the community, were expected to be announced Wednesday afternoon.