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Driver Killed, Four Injured In Lauderdale Highway Crash

A pregnant farm worker delivering vegetables to a Big Apple market was killed, and her 14-year-old stepdaughter was clinging to life after a horrific accident, police said.


Jennifer Parisella, 30, driving a 2003 Ford Econoline van was pronounced dead at the scene after she rear-ended the 2014 Volvo Tractor on the Lauderdale Expressway near Wellington Avenue, cops said.

Her 14-year-old stepdaughter, Sky Mendoza, was sitting in the backseat and was rushed to Delray Medical Center in critical condition. Her 12-year-old stepson, Orlando Mendoza, Jr., who was also in the back seat, was taken to Delray Medical Center in stable condition with body trauma, according to FHP and relatives.

A 28-year-old man riding in the front passenger seat, who a relative identified as the victim’s brother, was taken to St. Lucie Village in stable condition with a leg injury.

The family, who lives in Hillsboro Beach and works on a farm, was on their way to the city to bring produce to a farmer’s market, said a cousin.

About a dozen people gathered at the waiting room at Delray Medical Center many, if not all, sobbing and hugging.

“She was five months pregnant,” said a cousin who declined to give her name. “She was excited. She was so happy. That would be her first child.”

Still, she raised both the 12-year-old who broke his collarbone and the 14-year-old, who was in surgery for bleeding to the brain and a broken spine.

The truck driver, also 30, stayed on scene and was taken to Delray Medical Center in stable condition. No arrests were immediately made.


Accident attorney Jason Weisser of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck responded to this unfortunate crash. “This is a serious accident resulting in several serious injuries. We hope the investigators can quickly determine what caused the accident. Please be careful and obey the speed limits whenever you are driving a motorcycle, car, SUV or truck. We hope that all parties involved consult with an experienced trial lawyer. If you have been injured in an accident, call my office for a free consultation and find out what your rights are.”

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