Wrong-Way Driver to Blame for Head-On Collision, Driver’s Condition in Question
BROOKSVILLE – Last night, 14-year-old Javy Bonilla and his brother, 18-year-old Gabriel were involved in terrifying head-on collision on Cortez Blvd, just west of Spring Lake Highway.
Gabriel sustained minor injuries and has since been released from the hospital but his brother wasn’t so lucky.
When Fire Rescue arrived on the scene they discovered Javy unconscious inside the heavily damaged SUV. Bayflite responded and airlifted Javy to St Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, where he is hospitalized at this time.
Javy’s mother, Sheila Bonilla say Javy sustained two broken ribs, a punctured lung, broken teeth, and several lacerations. She also says javy will be fitted for a brace to protect an injured tibia but they don’t believe it is broken. Javy is expected to remain hospitalized for at least three more days, says Sheila.
According to a report provided by the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of a 2006 Dodge Ram Pickup, 58-year-old Patricia Harpin Melnick was traveling in the wrong direction in the eastbound lanes of Cortez Blvd. In an effort to avoid colliding with Melnick, Gabriel served into the grassy median at the same time that Melnick chose the same evasive action. Both vehicles collided in the median head-on.
There are unconfirmed reports that First Responders believed Melnick was “ETOH” or intoxicated in medical terms. Melnick refused medical treatment and was not transported to the hospital for evaluation.
Despite several factors; the wrong-way driving, first responder’s belief that Melnick was under the influence of alcohol, and our video showing Melnick’s questionable behavior, Trooper Warren Reid chose not to conduct a DUI investigation or request a blood draw.
Trooper Reid did, however, cite Melnick for driving the wrong direction on the highway.
We contacted Sgt. Steve Gaskins with the Florida Highway Patrol who forwarded our inquiry to Trooper Reid. We will update this story once we receive an official statement from Trooper Reid.
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