Janet Rains, the tour manager for Adrenaline Mob who sustained serious injuries when the band was involved in a truck crash on July 14, 2017, near Micanopy, FL, has died from her injuries. David Zablidowski, the band’s bassist, was killed at the time of the crash. Rains, who often went by the stage name “Jane Train,” underwent numerous surgeries following the accident. Rains’ passing and her family’s potential pursuit of legal action against the truck that hit the band’s RV has heightened awareness of deadly semi-truck accidents in Florida.
Adrenaline Mob RV Hit by Passing Truck
August 23, 2017
Forty-eight-year-old Rains was traveling with the band on their way to a tour stop in St. Petersburg, Florida when the accident occurred. The RV carrying most members of the band and its entourage, including Rains, got a flat tire not far from Micanopy and was pulled over on the side of I-75 to fix the issue. A separate vehicle driven by another member of the band and hauling a trailer pulled over alongside the RV as the repairs took place.
As both vehicles were stationary on the side of I-75, a semi-truck traveling southbound veered off the road and slammed into them. Zablidowski died instantly while other passengers sustained varying degrees of injury.
The Adrenaline Mob truck crash is still under investigation by Florida Highway Patrol troopers, who have said the semi-truck driver offered no explanation as to why he veered off the road and struck the vehicles.
Rains’ was one of six people hospitalized following the accident, and was ultimately taken to the University of Florida Shands Burn Center in Gainesville for treatment. Rains remained at the Burn Center until she died from her injuries on August 23, 2017.
Lucille Joyner, Rains’ mother, took to her public Facebook page in the days before Rains’ passing to seek prayers as she said her daughter had taken a turn for the worse. Joyner returned to the page with only a brief statement addressing her daughter’s death on Wednesday, saying simply “August 23, 2017, Janet chose to be with Jesus.”
Rains, who was from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, was not only the tour manager for Adrenaline Mob but was the lead singer of the band M80. Members of the music community took to Twitter to express the sadness over her passing. In the weeks before her death, a GoFundMe page set up for Rains had raised $21,230 to help with her medical expenses.
Tow Truck Driver Who Killed Three People Arrested for Being on Drugs at Time of Accident
September 3, 2017
In a separate accident, a tow truck driver who veered off the road before overcorrecting back into an oncoming SUV, killing a husband, wife and son, has been arrested by Florida Highway Patrol for being under the influence of drugs at the time of the crash.
Thirty-one-year-old Travis Lee Johnson was driving a Ford F-650 tow truck as an employee of Cash’s Towing in Ocala, Florida when the head-on collision occurred. Johnson was driving the tow truck west on State Road 326 around 5:52 p.m. on January 22, 2017, when he went off the road and struck two mailboxes with the vehicle. Johnson then veered back onto the road and into the path of an oncoming SUV driven by 61-year-old William McCullough, a former congressional candidate.
McCollough died in the crash, as did his wife 56-year-old Renee McCullough, and their son, 31-year-old Ryan McCollough. Johnson sustained serious injuries.
Florida Highway Patrol has determined that Johnson was under the influence of drugs at the time of the fatal tow truck crash, and arrested him on September 3, 2017. Authorities charged him with three counts each of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, as well as four counts of DUI property damage, and individual charges of careless driving and not wearing a seatbelt.
Johnson was booked into Marion County Jail, and no further information has been released regarding legal action.
One Fatality and More Than a Dozen Injuries in 26-Car Accident in Nassau
September 3, 2017
In yet another recent Florida truck crash, an 18-year-old male died and 13 other people injured when a semi-truck failed to slow for cars stopped at a previous car accident in Nassau County. Initial reports indicated that 22 vehicles were involved in the pileup, but later news reports listed 26 cars as being a part of the accident.
The initial crash involved only two vehicles and had occurred around 10:45 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-95 by State Road 200, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The big rig that collided with stopped traffic set off a chain reaction that involved mainly passenger vehicles, but also three semi-trucks.
Connor Jordan Dzion, a Saint Johns resident, was the sole fatality, but 13 additional people sustained injuries. All lanes of southbound I-95 were closed throughout the night.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers are investigating the accident and say that the semi-truck driver has cooperated with their efforts. Drugs and alcohol are not believed to be factors, but the investigation will consider other dangerous driving aspects that may have led to the fatal, multi-car crash.
“At this time we don’t think alcohol or controlled substance was a factor,” Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Dylan Bryan said in a statement. “But we want to make sure we cover all of our bases whether driver distraction or fatigue.”