Girl, 5, dies days after head-on crash


Published: Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 6:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, May 13, 2013 at 5:41 p.m.

Correction: A head-on accident Wednesday in Putnam County that claimed the life of a 5-year-old Hollister girl happened after the girl’s mother, Kimberly Nowelle Cooper, 27, drove west in the eastbound lane of West Strickland Road while Whitney Kaye Spalding, 26, of San Mateo, approached driving east, the Florida Highway Patrol reported. Spalding slowed and tried to get Cooper’s attention by blowing her horn without results. An earlier version of this article misstated how the accident occurred.

A 5-year-old girl from Hollister died Saturday morning at Shands at the University of Florida — three days after being a passenger in a car involved in a head-on collision Wednesday in Putnam County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Brianna Cooper, 5, succumbed to her injuries Saturday at about 10:30 a.m. at Shands, FHP said.

Brianna was a passenger in a 1995 Honda being driven west­ in the eastbound lane at around 4 p.m. Wednes­day on West Strickland Road east of Keuka Lake Road by Kimberly Nowelle Cooper, 27, also of Hollister, FHP said. Kimberly Cooper was airlifted to Shands in serious condition after the acci­dent, troopers said. Brianna was first taken to Putnam Hospital and later flown to Shands.

The Coopers' Honda collided with a 2006 Nissan Pathfinder being driven by Whitney Kaye Spalding, 26, of San Mateo. Spalding suffered minor injuries in the collision.

According to FHP, the collision occurred when Cooper drove west in the eastbound lane of West Strickland Road while Spalding approached driving east, the Florida Highway Patrol reported. Spalding slowed and tried to get Cooper’s attention by blowing her horn without results.

The two vehicles collided head-on, with both vehicles coming to a rest in the westbound lane of Strickland Road. Charges are pending, FHP said.

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