Morning wreck hospitalizes two

A three-car wreck Thursday morning sent one man and a 7-year-old girl to the hospital with minor injuries, according to authorities.

The wreck occurred around 8:50 a.m. at the intersection of Beacon Drive and Elmira Boulevard in Port Charlotte.

A white Sunfire driven by Dawn Flynn, 37, of Port Charlotte, drove through a puddle and skidded through a stop sign, colliding with a white pickup driven by Warren Benner, 51, of Port Charlotte, according to Florida Highway Patrol trooper Adam Heinlein.

The pickup rolled onto its right side, hitting the front of a Chevy Corsica driven by Joann Tompkins, 56, of Port Charlotte. She suffered a minor hand injury but refused treatment, according to Charlotte County Fire/EMS spokeswoman Dee Hawkins.

Firefighters spent more than a half-hour extricating Benner from the truck. He was taken to Bon Secours-St. Joseph Hospital with neck and head pain, Hawkins said.

Flynn's 7-year-old daughter, Rebecca Headlee, suffered minor facial injuries when her airbag deployed. She was also taken to Bon Secours-St. Joseph hospital. She had been sitting in the front seat wearing a seat belt, according to Hawkins.

"Kids under 80 pounds should not be in the front seat," Hawkins said. "They should be in a booster seat in the back, not in front of an airbag."

Children have suffered severe spinal and brain injuries from wearing seat belts in the front seat during crashes, Hawkins said.

Flynn was given a citation for violation of right of way, according to Heinlein.

Staff Report