Couple seriously injured in East Naples crash

Authorities investigate a traffic accident involving a commercial dump truck and a Toyota Prius near the intersection of U.S. 41 and Rattlesnake Hammock Road on Thursday, March 14, 2013, in East Naples.  Two passengers from the Toyota were airlifted from the scene.

Photo by DAVID ALBERS, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Authorities investigate a traffic accident involving a commercial dump truck and a Toyota Prius near the intersection of U.S. 41 and Rattlesnake Hammock Road on Thursday, March 14, 2013, in East Naples. Two passengers from the Toyota were airlifted from the scene.

A Collier County couple was seriously injured in a crash Thursday afternoon in East Naples.

Around 1:40 p.m., Maria Rufo Diaz, 81, made a left turn on Rattlesnake Hammock Road from U.S. 41 East in a Toyota Prius, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. For an unknown reason, she did not see an approaching dump truck and drove into its path, a report said.

The dump truck hit the right side of the Toyota, troopers said. Maria Diaz was seriously injured, while her passenger, John Joseph Diaz, 88, sustained critical injuries. Both had been wearing seat belts.

The Diazes were flown to Lee Memorial Hospital to be treated, troopers said. The dump truck’s driver, 47-year-old Luis Diaz, was not injured.

Charges are pending, according to an FHP report, but it was unclear for who.

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