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Memorial fund set up for family in wake of child’s death

By Staff | Nov 20, 2014

A memorial fund has been set up for a Cape Coral family who lost their 5-year-old son Monday morning following a traffic crash north of Tampa.

Nathan Griffith died from his injuries at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He was transported to the hospital following the accident on Interstate 75.

The Nathan Griffith Memorial Fund was opened up at Wells Fargo Bank by the Dellutri Law Group, where the boy’s mother works. People can donate to the fund by visiting any Wells Fargo location.

“The Dellutri Law Group family is mourning a tremendous loss. One of our assistants, Sheila Griffith, and her family were in a horrific car accident,” Carmen Dellutri, the owner of the law firm, stated via his Facebook page. “While her entire family was injured, her 5-year-old son, Nathan, did not survive.”

“I’m sure you understand that this is a devastating loss for the family, and our thoughts and prayers have been with Sheila, her husband, Alex, and the entire Griffith family this week,” he continued. “We want to do anything and everything we can to help this family, and that is why we want to let everyone know how they can also help the family with expenses.”

“If you would like to assist Sheila and Alex, please stop by a Wells Fargo Bank location and tell them you want to donate to ‘The Nathan Griffith Memorial Fund,'” Dellutri wrote. “Any donations would be appreciated more than you can imagine. Thank you and may God bless the entire Griffith family.”

An employee at the law firm said the funds will help with medical and funeral expenses.

“Every little bit will help,” she said Thursday. “We’re just trying to help out as much as we can.”

FHP officials reported that a Chevrolet Impala, driven by Alexander W. Griffith, 27, was headed southbound on I-75 in the outside lane. Nathan was a passenger in the car, along with Marissa Griffith, 7, and Sheila A. Griffith, 27. All were restrained in seat belts, while Nathan was in a booster seat.

South of County Road 41/Blanton Road, a Ford Mustang also traveling southbound on I-75 in the outside lane approached from behind and struck the rear of the Impala at 9:38 a.m. The Mustang was allegedly moving at a high rate of speed, and the collision occurred in an active construction zone.

The FHP reported that the Impala had its hazard lights on and Griffith was driving approximately 60 mph due to mechanical issues with the car. The collision caused the Impala to overturn onto the outside shoulder, where the car came to a stop. The Mustang traveled to the same shoulder, where it stopped.

All four occupants of the Impala were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Griffith and Sheila A. Griffith sustained minor injuries in the crash, while the injuries to Marissa were listed as serious.

As of Thursday, neither Griffith, Sheila A. Griffith nor Marissa were listed in the hospital’s directory. According to officials, they were not present or the family asked that no information be released.

An update on their conditions was unavailable.

The driver of the Mustang, Caitlin Marie Grace, 22, of Dade City, sustained serious injuries in the accident and was transported to Tampa General Hospital for treatment, according to the FHP.

Hospital officials reported on Thursday that Grace was not listed in their directory.

An update on her condition was unavailable.

The crash closed all of the southbound lanes of I-75 for approximately one hour, followed by the closure of the outside lane only. All the lanes were officially reopened to traffic at 1:30 p.m.

Alcohol was not a factor in the traffic accident, according to officials.

The Griffiths were reportedly returning home after a vacation in Tennessee.

The investigation is ongoing.