Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

6-year-old loses father and grandmother in Weeki Wachee car crash

WEEKI WACHEE — Alex Nadeau sat in the back seat of the SUV when, he would later tell his brother, the vehicle's tire slipped off the side of Shoal Line Boulevard.

In seconds, the car had flipped onto its roof and slid into a canal. Water rushed in around the 6-year-old.

The boy's brother, Lee Nadeau, 26, still isn't quite sure what happened, but Alex told him he felt a hand reach in through an open window and pull him out.

Alex's father, Harold Harless, and grandmother, Diane Harless, were still inside.

Diane Harless was driving northbound when she veered onto the east shoulder of the road, then over-corrected, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The vehicle crossed the south lane and went into a canal, where it flipped and submerged.

After he escaped, the boy sat on the roadside and watched as emergency personnel pulled his dad from the vehicle. They placed Mr. Harless on a stretcher and tried to revive him. They couldn't save him. Both Mr. Harless, 56, and his 72-year-old mother later died of their injuries.

As of early Thursday afternoon, Lee Nadeau still hadn't broken the news to his brother. He just didn't know how to tell him.

"They were very close," Nadeau said of Alex and his father. "He meant the world to him."

The brothers share the same mother, Charlene Nadeau. She was convicted of manslaughter and other charges in April 2010 after she sold a man prescription pills from which he later fatally overdosed. Charlene Nadeau was sentenced to 40 months in state prison.

After hearing of Tuesday night's tragedy, Lee Nadeau didn't hesitate to take in his brother. He and his girlfriend share a home in Brooksville, and he works a security job near Tampa.

"I'm just really grateful Alex is okay," Nadeau said. "I'm lucky to have him."

Reach John Woodrow Cox at jcox@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432.

6-year-old loses father and grandmother in Weeki Wachee car crash 01/12/12 [Last modified: Thursday, January 12, 2012 4:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Drowning in a sea of lawsuits and recall costs, Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. is expected to seek bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the United States today.

  2. AP: Rick Scott to name Jimmy Patronis CFO on Monday

    Blogs

    From the AP's Gary Fineout:

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott is turning to a long-time political ally and former north Florida legislator to take over one of the top elected jobs in state government. 

    Then state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City Beach, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, tour downtown Panama City, Fla. on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Scott will name Patronis CFO on Monday.
  3. Despite Pride success, Grand Central business owners upset over losing parade

    Events

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Grand Central District was packed with people Sunday, there to enjoy the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Patrons eat lunch and cool off inside of the Community Cafe during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival along Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times

  4. Rays blow another lead, lose rubber match to Orioles (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Orioles rallied past the Rays on Sunday, winning the rubber match of the three-game series 8-5.

    Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop (6) scores in the eighth in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  5. Tim Tebow heads back to Sunshine State with promotion to St. Lucie

    Blogs

    Tim Tebow is coming back to the Sunshine State.

    Columbia Fireflies outfielder Tim Tebow looks out from the dugout before the team's game against the Augusta GreenJackets on April 6 in Columbia, S.C. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.