• FHP: Driver of van carrying martial arts school kids at fault after crash

    Updated:

    POINCIANA, Fla. - Troopers found the driver of a martial arts school van carrying nine children at fault after he collided with a pickup truck in Osceola County on Friday.

    The crash happened shortly after 3 p.m. at the intersection of Reaves and Pleasant Hill roads in the Poinciana area.

    Ronaldo Piccinelli, 73, was the driver of the passenger van carrying nine children. Piccinelli was traveling nourthbound on Pleasant Hill Road.

    Lazaro Molina Yut was driving southbound on the same road in a pickup truck with a trailer attached. Witnesses said the light at the intersection with Reaves Road turned from green to yellow. Yut continued through the yellow light. Piccinelli tried to make a left turn onto Reaves Road, directly into the path of Yut's pickup with attached trailer.

    The front of Yut's pickup truck struck Piccinelli's van, sending it spinning. One boy in the passenger van was ejected.

    A Ford Mustang was hit by debris from the van.

    Two adults, Piccinelli and a passenger of Yut's truck, were taken to the hospital.

    Eight children were taken to four hospitals. The occupant that was ejected from the van was airlifted to Arnold Palmer in critical but stable condition.

    A ninth child, the brother of the ejected boy, was taken to Arnold Palmer by his grandfather and has been admitted for observation.

    Whether the children were restrained in the passenger van is under investigation.

    The van was owned by the Academy of Martial Arts.

    Video from Skywitness 9 HD shows the truck was towing a trailer that appeared to be full of oranges. Video shows the entire front of the truck smashed in.

    Piccinelli was ticketed for violation of right of way.


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