COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - WINK News has exclusively obtained the final Florida Highway Patrol report on an accident that killed a Collier County mother and her two young daughters. The report says Cecelia Douglas is the direct cause of the January crash.
Investigators say the 33 year old was travelling west bound on I-75 on January 21, 2013 near mile marker 88, when she hit the back of a delivery truck, lost control and plunged into a canal. Investigators say 4-year-old Madison and 3-year-old Rylee were in the backseat unbuckled.
According to investigators, her husband, Nathan Douglas, acknowledged she would frequently drive at a high rate of speed, did not wear a seatbelt and was known to apply makeup while going to work.
Family friend Don Eagle tells WINK News the new details don't change anything. "Obviously if someone is driving you always want to be buckled in, you never want to be doing your makeup, but that doesn't change the nature of the tragedy that a mother and her two children lost their lives and that's the real tragedy."
Troopers say the injuries Douglas sustained likely kept her from helping herself and her children once the car was submerged. The report goes on to say Cecelia Douglas' actions contributed to the direct cause of this crash, the injuries to everyone in the second vehicle, the property damage and the death of herself and her two daughters Madison and Rylee Douglas.
"If good can come of that by further awareness of using just common sense things when you're driving then so be it, but for us, who knew them and loved them the tragedy none the less remains," says Eagle.