Friday, Dec 19, 2014
Local News

Investigation closed into wreck that killed 3 pedestrians

BY PAUL CATALA
Highlands Today

Published:

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SEBRING – The investigation into a January automobile accident that killed two pedestrians, seriously wounded another and eventually killed the driver of the car that plowed into them has been closed.

The Florida Highway Patrol Traffic Homicide Investigation report was closed May 31 after the driver of the Ford pickup truck that hit the walkers, Gregory Tocci of Sebring, died Jan. 5 as a result of injuries he sustained in the crash.

In the 29-page investigative report obtained from the FHP office in Bradenton, it stated vehicular homicide charges were pending but were never filed against Tocci, 54, due to his death.

A medical examiner’s report released March 19 from the District Ten Medical Examiner’s Office showed Tocci eventually died from “blunt impact to head and torso.” In addition, it stated a post-mortem screening showed alcohol or drugs weren’t found in his system.

The incident occurred around 8 a.m. Jan. 4, at Seattle and Illinois avenues. The FHP reported Tocci was heading south on Seattle Avenue toward the four pedestrians all of Sebring - Holly S. Fadely, 62, Allen Wilson, 60, James Amos, 73 and William R. Fadely, 62 - as they were walking north on the west side of the road and north of Illinois Avenue. As Tocci’s truck veered towards them, they reportedly stepped onto the west shoulder to get out of the way and proceeded north.

The report stated Amos, who was seriously injured, told officials he estimated Tocci was going about 70 mph when the front of the Ford truck hit the four walkers as they were walking north on the west shoulder. After striking the group, Tocci then reportedly veered back onto Seattle Avenue, going south towards Delaware Avenue, according to the FHP. Tocci, who the report indicated was wearing a seatbelt, then missed a left turn, continued straight on the west side of Seattle Avenue and ran into a large concrete power pole. He was injured and taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center in critical condition.

Fadely and Wilson were killed at the scene due to “blunt impact to torso,” according to the report; Amos was taken to Florida Hospital Heartland in serious condition; and William Fadely, Holly’s husband, was admitted in critical condition at the same hospital.

Additionally, the FHP reported Tocci left the scene of the accident and “failed to provide first-aid” and there was “no evidence that (Tocci) took any evasive action to avoid the pedestrians or the large concrete utility pole.”

Eyewitnesses to the crash, Michael and Sharon Ann Stifler of Sebring, called 911 immediately following the event and reportedly told FHP officers Tocci narrowly missed hitting their car after veering back onto Seattle Avenue.

Detectives who went to Tocci’s Lexus Street home with a search warrant at 3:45 p.m. Jan 4 reportedly found prescription drugs to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

pcatala@highlandstoday.com

(863) 386-5855

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