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Four members of a British family were killed in a car crash in Florida because their vehicle’s sat-nav instructed them to perform a U-turn on a highway, it has been reported.
Adam Stephenson, 30, who was driving the rented Mitsubishi sedan, his wife Maryanne Stephenson, 29, and his parents Brian Stephenson, 66, and Sheralyn Stephenson, 56, all from Bristol, died in the crash.
The family were returning from a trip to the Kennedy Space Centre when they were killed when their vehicle was struck by a Ford pick-up.
The driver’s brother, who stayed behind in the family’s Florida rental home, was notified of the deaths of his family members.
The collision happened at about 6pm on Monday on Sisson Road and State Road. Police said the sat-nav in the family’s car instructed the driver to perform an illegal U-turn on the road because of an earlier crash.
Titusville Police Department Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson said: “Our emergency personnel were on the scene within a few minutes.
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“There was nothing they could do, all four were pronounced deceased at the scene.”
Using the destination set into the sat-nav, he said officers went to the Davenport address of the family who were on holiday in the Sunshine State – a popular destination with Britons.
“They located the brother of the driver, and the son of the older couple in the back seat. So he lost his brother, his sister-in-law and his mum and dad,” he said.
“Very, very tragic. He was doing the notifications last night to other family members over in England.
“That was a very tough notification, it was tough for all involved. The job of first responders is to sustain life and to help people at scenes.
“They were very frustrated because there was nothing they could do for these four that died fairly instantly from the violent collision.”
Deputy Chief Hutchinson said officers believe the family had just left the Kennedy Space Centre in their rental vehicle, and were attempting to navigate back to their rented holiday home.
He said their sat-nav showed they were on their way back to the property and had been re-routed due to an earlier collision.
“The GPS had indicated for them to make a U-turn at that intersection which was an illegal U-turn unfortunately and violated the right of way of the pick-up truck,” he said.
The driver of the Ford pick-up truck was taken to hospital with “non life-threatening injuries”, the force said.
An official FCO spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of four British people who have died in Florida. Our thoughts are with them at this deeply difficult time.”