In the first hour of 2013, traffic homicide investigators were called to two major crashes that took three lives and sent four others to area hospitals.
The first crash occurred at 12:28 a.m. on Atlantic Boulevard at Girvin Road, just before the Hodges intersection. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says two people died in a crash when a station wagon pulled in front of an SUV. Police said the SUV rolled several times after the impact, killing a man and woman inside. The driver of the station wagon was taken to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center with minor injuries.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office traffic homicide detectives have not released names or other details, but did say they were investigating if alcohol, fog or speed were factors in the crash.
Less than 30 minutes later, a pickup truck westbound on Beach Boulevard left the road and struck at concrete pole just before the Kernan Boulevard overpass.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, four people were trapped inside the pickup. Passenger Dara Kusiv, 20, of Longwood Fla., died on the scene. The driver, Sean Franke, also 20 from Longwood, and two 19-year-old passengers were transported to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center with serious injuries.
Channel 4 has learned that all four of those in the pickup were students at the University of North Florida.
Troopers said they did not know why the pickup left road, and that charges were pending the outcome of the investigation.
Both wrecks were cleared overnight and the roads reopened hours later. The names of the victims and other details were not released at the scenes.