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4 people, including 11-year-old girl, airlifted following Keys head-on collision

This was the aftermath of Monday’s crash in the Middle Keys in which several people were airlifted to a Miami hospital.
This was the aftermath of Monday’s crash in the Middle Keys in which several people were airlifted to a Miami hospital.

Four people, including an 11-year-old child from Homestead, were taken by air ambulance to a mainland hospital Monday afternoon following a head-on collision on U.S. 1 in the Middle Keys.

The crash happened shortly after 2:30 p.m. at mile marker 58 on the Keys’ main highway. A 2015 Nissan Altima driven by Toni Lynn Boyden, 33, of Homestead, was traveling south and veered into the northbound lane directly in the path of a 2012 Honda Pilot driven by Danny Hudson, 41, of Melbourne, Fla., according to the FHP. The vehicles collided.

Hudson and one of his two passengers, Elizabeth Mercedes Hudson, 40, sustained serious injuries and were flown to Ryder Trauam Center, said Lt. Kathleen McKinney, FHP sub-district commander for the Keys Danny M. Hudson, 18, was treated at the scene for minor injuries, McKinney said.

Boyden’s passenger, the 11-year-old girl who the FHP has not named, was also airlifted. Boyden was listed in “critical, but stable” condition as of Tuesday, McKinney said.

Debris from the crash hit a 2007 Toyota Sebring traveling behind the Hudsons’ vehicle but neither the driver nor passenger of that vehicle was injured. U.S. 1 was closed in both directions for an hour and a half while first responders extricated all four people and FHP troopers investigated.

McKinney said alcohol was not a factor in the crash and all involved wore their safety belts, however, she said charges are pending against the driver of the Altima.

Saturday crash

An Islamorada man remained in critical condition Monday at Ryder following a single-auto crash at mile marker 98 southbound of U.S. 1.

The FHP said Dana Gonzalez, 70, was driving a 2013 Lexus RX350 around 11:20 a.m. when he veered off the road, striking a stop sign, then a telephone pole, then a concrete pole. The auto ended up in bushes.

Deputy injured

A two-car crash Friday night in Marathon sent a Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputy to a Miami hospital and blocked lanes of U.S. 1 traffic for two hours.

Jesus Cordova, 77, of Marathon was driving north in the center turn lane near 41st Street around 9:30 p.m. when his Mitsubishi Montero swerved into the southbound lane and hit Deputy Mario Benedetti’s patrol car, according to McKinney.

“It was pretty much a head-on collision,” McKinney told the Keynoter.

Cordova had minor injuries and was treated at Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon while Benedetti was airlifted to Ryder for a head injury.

“He spent the night in the hospital in Miami and was treated for a head injury as well as possible injuries to his back and neck,” said Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin. “He had quite a few stitches to close the head injury. He is now at home, recovering.”

Both southbound lanes and one northbound lane were blocked for about two hours and traffic was re-routed around the scene, McKinney said.

Katie Atkins contributed to this report.

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