Woman killed in Manatee County chain-reaction crash

The sound of the crash was the first thing that caught Margaret Ruppenthal's attention. 

"The impact was horrific,” she recalled. “You know when a transformer bursts? It was louder than that.”. 

When she ran outside, "My insides were shaking for the person that was in that black vehicle. I had never seen anything like that," she continued. 

A black Chevy pickup was sandwiched between a car and a van. Rosalinda Santana was behind the wheel. 

Troopers said she was stopped in traffic on U.S. 301, near 63rd Avenue East, when a van driven by Nathan Taylor plowed into her. The impact pushed her into a Toyota and caused a five-car pileup. 

Surveillance video captured by A&B Auto Tech captured the last person in the pileup, jumping out of his truck to help. 

There was little that could be done; the 40-year-old Santana died from her injuries. 

"There was no way that he could not see those cars were stopped. There’s no way," said Ruppenthal. 

Troopers said there was only one reason why the van didn't stop. 

"At this point in time, it appears that driver may have been distracted, just simply did not see all of the traffic that was stopped in front of him. Something had pulled his attention away from the roadway and unfortunately in this event it cost somebody their life," said Trooper Ken Watson. 

Troopers believe Taylor was also speeding. 

On a roadway that's traveled so often, many hope this brings an important lesson. 

"You've got to pay attention. You’ve got to watch the road and watch for other drivers. You’ve got to be so careful anymore," said Ruppenthal. 

Troopers cited Taylor for careless driving. 

Anyone with information on the crash can contact the Florida Highway Patrol at 239-938-1800 or *FHP (*347).