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3 Florida corrections officers going on fishing trip killed in crash near Titusville

3 dead in crash on I-95 near Titusville
3 dead in crash on I-95 near Titusville

The Florida Department of Corrections says three of its officers were killed in a crash on Interstate 95 Thursday.

The wreck also left a 15-year-old girl with serious injures and closed the interstate near Titusville for several hours, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The triple fatal wreck happened around 5:30 a.m. in the northbound lanes of I-95 just north of State Road 407 near Titusville.

The FHP said a 2004 Ford Expedition carrying four people was going north on I-95 when a Kia SUV entered the highway from State Road 407. The two vehicles collided, but the events leading to the crash are under investigation, troopers said.

The driver, a 40-year-old Vero Beach man, and two passengers, a 28-year-old Sebastian man and a 44-year-old Orlando woman, died in the crash, the FHP said.

The Florida Department of Corrections confirmed the three victims were corrections officers who were on their way to go fishing when the crash happened.

“The Florida Department of Corrections is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of three of our own, and together we offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Captain Anibal Santos, Officer Trent Strate and Officer Vaneicha John Mende,” the Florida DoC said in a statement.

“Our heartfelt grief is extended to the team at Central Florida Reception Center during this painful and difficult time. The service and memory of these three dedicated public servants will not soon be forgotten, and the Florida Department of Corrections is greatly indebted to their service and the time spent with us.”