Amber Colson, 28, died on the evening of July 4. Colson, of Crestview, who was known locally as Nicole or Nikki Parker, was a passenger in a 2006 Chevy Silverado driven by 29-year-old Levi Jernigan, also of Crestview. Florida Highway Patrol said in a press release obtained by NFWDailyNews.com that Jernigan was towing a large box trailer loaded with inflatable jump houses eastbound on Interstate 10 near mile marker 44 when the trailer began to sway, causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The right side of the trailer struck a 2004 Ford Focus driven by 54-year-old Marion Haynes, of Niceville.
Jernigan’s car was forced to the right and Haynes steered to the left. Haynes eventually regained control of the Ford and came to a stop facing north on the south shoulder, according to the press release. The Chevy and the trailer rotated and entered the median, with the right side of the vehicle striking a tree. Jernigan, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and sustained serious injuries. He was transported to Baptist Hospital. Colson was taken to Sacred Heart Hospital where she died of her injuries. She was wearing a seatbelt. Haynes and her passenger, Zelma Thomas, 38, both suffered minor injuries and were taken to North Okaloosa Medical Center, according to NFWDailyNews.com.
Colson leaves behind an 8-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter. Colson’s longtime friend, Jeanne Bloomquist, told NFWDailyNews.com that Colson was dating Jernigan, and that Jernigan had told her he did everything he could to stop the trailer from swaying.
A 3:12 p.m. crash killed a 22-year-old Crestview man Sunday afternoon in Santa Rosa County. Robert Johnson, 28, of Milton, was stopped at the intersection of Welcome Church Road and State Road 87 waiting to make a left turn as Cameron Burke, 22, of Crestview, was traveling south on SR 87 on a Honda motorcycle approaching the intersection. Johnson drove across the south lanes of SR 87 into the path of Burke, colliding with the left side of Johnson’s van. Both vehicles came to rest at the intersection. Burke was wearing a helmet and was pronounced dead at the scene. Johnson, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was not injured in the crash, NFWDailyNews.com reported.
Charges are pending a traffic homicide investigation, according to the press release.