Condition improves for man seriously hurt in 5-car crash


A vehicle involved in a five-car crash at the intersection of 34th Street and University Avenue, in Gainesville, Jan. 8, 2012. The driver of one vehicle was upgraded from critical to good condition by medical staff at Shands at the University of Florida. The three other people injured in the crash were treated for minor injuries, according to police.

Brad McClenny/Staff photographer
Published: Monday, January 9, 2012 at 1:04 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 9, 2012 at 1:04 p.m.

The driver who was most seriously injured in a five-car crash on Sunday afternoon is improving, police said Monday morning.

A Gainesville Police Department official said Riley Sullivan, 20, of Gainesville, was upgraded from critical to good condition by medical staff at Shands at the University of Florida. The three other people injured in the crash were treated for minor injuries, according to police.

Witnesses told police that Sullivan’s Kia sedan was northbound on Southwest 34th Street when it ran a red light at Second Avenue.

Then the Kia ran into the back end of a car stopped at University Avenue at a red light, witnesses told police. The impact set off the chain reaction and the Kia flipped over onto its roof. Four of the five cars involved had to be towed.

Among the witnesses to the crash was Marie Morris, who was in a car stopped just behind those involved in the crash.

“The Kia came up fast — maybe going 50 or 60 mph,” Morris told The Sun on Monday afternoon. “He (Kia driver) never braked and then his car ricocheted off the cars ahead of us. How he missed us, I don’t know.”

Police said they are continuing to talk to witnesses and gather evidence in the case.

“The investigation is continuing to determine exactly what happened to cause this,” GPD Sgt. Joe Raulerson said.

Police shut down the intersection for several hours Sunday.

No charges had been filed by Monday afternoon.

Morris said several people ran to the Kia to try to help the driver escape, but no one was able to help him until fire rescue officials reached the scene with specialized equipment.

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