Florida Van Fire on I-95 Kills 10-Year-Old Disabled Boy

A van exploded in flames while driving on Interstate 95, killing a 10-year-old disabled boy and injuring five family members, officials said.


TITUSVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A van exploded in flames while driving on Interstate 95, killing a 10-year-old disabled boy and injuring five family members, officials said.

A wheelchair ramp had recently been installed beneath the van and slipped or broke loose, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The ramp likely rubbed against the drive shaft, which broke and punctured the fuel tank, troopers said.

The fire Thursday killed Marvin Pena and injured the driver, Francisco Pena, Karla Torres, 36, Blanca Torres, 59, Reynaldo Diaz, 39, and Irving Pena, 11. All were from Belleville, N.J.

The group was heading to Miami, then intended to travel to Nicaragua. The van caught fire near Titusville, about 35 miles east of Orlando.

Witness Tim Becker said he saw the van in flames and ``frantic'' people in the median.

``One fellow asked me to take his watch off for him; it was burning him,'' Becker said.