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Infant, 2 adults die in fiery Florida Turnpike crash

FHP says 24-year-old man driving with suspended license caused wreck

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – A 24-year-old Orlando man driving with a suspended license caused a crash on the Florida Turnpike that killed an infant and two adults, according to Florida Highway Patrol troopers.

The crash happened at about 4:20 a.m. Sunday at mile marker 286, a mile from the Leesburg South exit at State Road 19 and US-27.

The victims were identified by the Florida Highway Patrol on Monday as a family from Moultrie, Georgia. Thomas Garza, 23, who was driving, Lillian Luna, 20, and the couple's 1-year-old daughter, Brianna Garza, died in the crash, troopers said.

The FHP said that a Mercedes SUV driven by James Dameron ran into the back of the Garza's Nissan Maxima, causing both vehicles to roll over on their sides and catch fire.

Officials said Dameron, who suffered minor injuries, was driving with a license that had been suspended Tuesday. Court records from Orange County alone show that Dameron has been ticketed 13 times since 2013.

Dameron's tickets include texting while driving 85 mph on the Florida Turnpike on Aug. 18, 2014, speeding 90 mph on East Colonial drive on Feb. 26 and speeding 96 mph on the 408 on June 4.

Dameron was found guilty for three of the 13 tickets. A hearing officer withheld adjudication for the rest, which means points are also withheld.

In Florida, accumulating 12 points on a license within 12 months leads to a 30-day suspension.

Dameron has been ordered to complete several safe driving courses, including an aggressive driving class.

Dameron was not arrested for this weekend's crash but faces charges, FHP said. Alcohol is not believed to have played a role in the wreck, troopers said.

Troopers have not said what Dameron told them happened, only saying "for reasons that remain under investigation."


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