SUV hits 3 men fishing on Melbourne bridge, 2 killed

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MELBOURNE, Fla. - One of three men hit by an SUV while fishing off a bridge in Melbourne is fighting for his life Tuesday.


The man who survived the crash, Jeffrey Forrest Vanreenen, 41, was taken to a local hospital, police said.


Authorities said Justin Laine Mitchell, 25, Ronald Garrett Viccaro, 24, were killed on the Eau Gallie Causeway early Tuesday morning.


Channel 9's Steve Barrett spoke with the mother of the man who survived.


Marie Vanreenen reacted with tears and confusion Tuesday morning after learning her son survived a horrific bridge accident.


"He's got a purpose for his life -- whatever it is. So we go from here," she said.

Police spray-painted the point of impact where tire marks stretch across the bridge wall.

The three men shrimping off the bridge were caught off guard when an SUV driver lost control just before midnight Monday night.

"Unfortunately two are deceased from the impact of this crash. One is currently in the hospital," Sgt. Sheridan Shelley of Melbourne police said.

The crash happened on the side of the bridge where there is no protection for pedestrians or fishermen. Had the men chosen the other side of the bridge, they would have been protected by a concrete barrier.

Marie Vanreenen said her son had been fishing off bridges for decades there and said she had confidence in him.

"He's been doing it since he was a teenager and he's 41 years old now. It didn't even concern me. I didn't even know he hadn't come home yet," Marie Vanreenen said.

Viccaro would have turned 25 years old tomorrow. Police did not say if charges against the driver might still be pending but they do not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor.