Florida Keys News
Friday, April 19, 2013
Deadly crash closes bridge

A 79-year-old Michigan man was killed in a fiery crash and his widow remained in critical condition Thursday after a head-on collision Wednesday night on the Seven Mile Bridge.

Floyd Devos of Grand Rapids, Mich., was pronounced dead at the scene after the 1999 Chevrolet he was driving southbound at Mile Marker 46 with his wife, 76-year-old Nancy Devos, was struck by a northbound 2013 Nissan driven by Xavier Ycaza, 23, of Golden Beach in Miami-Dade. The Nissan reportedly swerved into the southbound lane just before 9 p.m., said Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Kathleen McKinney.

The Nissan struck the wall and caught fire near the north lane while the Chevrolet struck the opposing wall and came to rest in the south lane.

Two Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputies pulled Ycaza from the Nissan before he was badly burnt by the fire, McKinney said.

Ycaza and Nancy Devos were airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami in separate helicopters -- Sheriff's Office Trauma Star and LifeNet -- that both landed on the bridge, McKinney said.

Nancy Devos was in critical condition and Ycaza was listed in stable condition as of Thursday night, McKinney said.

There were no other vehicles involved. All three people wearing seat belts.

"There was evidence collected at the scene suggesting that Xavier (Ycaza) had been drinking," McKinney said, adding that toxicology tests are pending.

U.S. 1 was closed in both directions at the bridge for three hours while crews cleared the scene. It reopened to traffic about 1 a.m. Thursday.

alinhardt@keysnews.com

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