St. Pete family badly injured on vacation in Connecticut

Pinellas County

STRATFORD, Conn. (WFLA) – A St. Petersburg family of five is recovering at a Connecticut hospital after their minivan got hit in a head-on crash while they were on vacation.

The crash happened on Saturday afternoon injuring 13 people, including the Brewster family of St. Petersburg.

They’d traveled to Stratford, Connecticut to visit relatives and were on their way to a swimming hole.

On a 2-lane road, just after noon, another mini-van driver attempted to pass a car on an “S” curve. At a blind spot, the van crashed head-on into the Brewster family in a rented minivan.

Inside: driver Erik Brewster, his wife, Rose, 3 children, Cloe, Kaylee Fitzsimmons-Essenter and Riley, and Cloe’s boyfriend, Shaun.

“It was just a really scary experience,” said Kaylee Brewster.

From her hospital room, she remembers some of what happened, as her mom yelled out, “oh my god!”

“All of a sudden like it was like a big boom and I kind of blacked out for a second. And then I felt the impact” she said.

Kaylee Fitzsimmons-Essenter saw Cloe and Shaun jammed into the back of her seat. Scared, in pain, and dripping with sweat, she saw her mother, Rose. “She was trying to help me move and I couldn’t, I didn’t feel my legs,” she said.

At her bedside, Kaylee’s Aunt said Kaylee got the worst of the crash. “She ended up with a broken back.  She has 2 7-inch rods with 2 screws on the top and 3 screws on the bottom. And they basically fused everything in between” said Sarah Branston.

Peter Bernard

Cloe fractured her elbow and wrist. Shaun has a broken leg and arm. Rose is sore. Erik has a leg and mouth injury. “It’s been rough. Especially for the children.  I mean, my sister and her husband have been besides themselves” said Branston.

She started a “Go Fund Me” page to help until insurance kicks in.

A fun family trip, turned into a nightmare, as the family has a goal to get back to St. Petersburg.   

Kaylee will need medical transport, and up to 18 months of in-patient physical therapy, then homeschooling.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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