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Driver In Florida Crash That Killed 4 From Mass. Family Charged With Careless Driving

ORLANDO (CBS) – The driver in a horrific crash in Florida last month that killed four members of a Massachusetts family on a Disney vacation has been charged with careless driving.

The Florida Highway Patrol wrapped up its investigation Monday into the February 18 crash outside of Orlando that killed five-year-old Scarlett Smith, her 12-year-old brother Jaxon, their mother 41-year-old Julie Smith of Whitman and grandmother, 76-year-old Josephine Fay of South Weymouth.

Police said 26-year-old Lucas Dos Reis Laurindo was driving a pickup truck when he slammed into the back of a Toyota Sienna minivan on the 429 highway around 5:30 p.m. as traffic began to slow down.

florida crash
Police said this truck rear-ended the van. (Image credit: WKMG-TV)

The impact from the truck caused the van to flip over, killing all three people in the back seat. Jaxon Smith was pronounced dead the next day.

"The result of the crash investigation has determined that Mr. Dos Reis Laurindo was at fault for the collision," the Florida Highway Patrol said in a statement Monday, nearly three weeks after the crash.

Scarlett Smith
Scarlett Smith, Jaxon Smith, Julie Smith and Josephine Fay (Photos credit: Fay Family)

"Under Florida law, the strongest charge that could be made against him, is a ticket issued for careless driving."

Dos Reis Laurindo was issued the ticket last week. He's currently in jail on a visa violation. He was taken into custody by federal law enforcement on February 28, ten days after the crash.

florida crash
Eight people were in the van when it was hit, February 18, 2020. (Photo credit: Osceola County Fire Rescue and EMS)

Four people survived the crash, Josephine's husband Bill, Julie's husband Shane and their daughters Shalie and Skylar.

Those looking to support the family can donate to their GoFundMe here. A pediatric fund has also been set up at Tufts Medical Center.

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