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    Mother and 3 children injured in accident

    By DUANE BOURNE
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published March 22, 2003

    BROOKSVILLE -- A 30-year-old woman and her three children were seriously injured Friday evening when their pickup overturned near the Suncoast Parkway.

    Four helicopters took the family to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

    Their names and conditions were unavailable Friday night. Authorities said the children range in age from 6 to 10.

    Some rescue crews and onlookers thought the pickup might have tumbled from the northbound lanes of the Suncoast Parkway.

    But the Florida Highway Patrol said the woman was driving west on Centralia Avenue at 6 p.m. when she lost control of the truck and overturned near the parkway overpass.

    Within minutes, Hernando County Fire Rescue responded to the scene and pulled all four from the mangled truck.

    "They were fairly calm," said Aaron Stafford, an emergency medical technician from Brooksville who called 911 when he saw the woman and her children pinned inside the truck.

    A path of skid marks led to the overturned truck, and a red gas container lay on the shoulder of the road.

    Keith Brand of Brooksville said that when he pulled his car up to the wreck, the mother was lying in the back of truck.

    "When I got here, she was half lying in the cab, half lying on the ground," Brand said. "She was just asking for her children."

    Authorities did not say why the woman careened out from the road or whether she or her children were wearing seat belts.

    A preliminary investigation revealed no signs of alcohol or drugs.

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