DeSantis motorcade crash details released: chain reaction led to impact

by | Jul 28, 2023

  • Crash details of a multi-vehicle pileup involving Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ motorcade have been released. 
  • DeSantis was unhurt but an aide suffered minor injuries and was treated at the scene. 
  • The crash occurred when the fourth vehicle in the governor’s motorcade failed to stop in time, causing a chain reaction collision with other vehicles in the convoy.
  • The governor’s protective detail often employs a close-follow strategy to prevent unauthorized vehicles from getting into the motorcade.

A multi-vehicle pileup Monday morning involved a motorcade carrying Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who escaped unscathed, according to details unveiled by Chattanooga authorities on Thursday. Kelly Kundinger, the DeSantis campaign’s political director who also occupied the lead vehicle, received minor injuries and was treated on-site by emergency medical personnel.

The incident took place at 8:06 a.m. on Interstate 75 as the motorcade halted abruptly due to a previous crash involving two vehicles ahead of the convoy. Following standard procedure, a Tennessee Highway Patrol officer accompanying the motorcade swiftly stopped behind the accident.

Despite the sudden stop, the first three vehicles in DeSantis’ motorcade managed to halt without incident. However, the fourth vehicle, a Chevy Traverse, was unable to stop in time, colliding with the third vehicle. That impact forced a chain reaction, pushing the third vehicle into the second, which then rammed into the governor’s lead vehicle, a GMC Yukon.

Strategic motorcade procedures could shed light on why the fourth vehicle was tailing so closely. While presidential motorcades often enjoy streets that are cleared of traffic ahead of time, most other VIP motorcades, whether for celebrities, or in this case, a sitting governor, instead have to rely on a close-follow strategy that requires vehicles in the motorcade to maintain a tight formation to prevent unauthorized vehicles from slipping into the motorcade and disrupting it. But the downside is that the strategy can make abrupt stops particularly challenging.

Both DeSantis and Kundinger were securely fastened with shoulder and lap belts at the time of the collision, likely mitigating the potential for more severe injuries.

DeSantis is presumably driven by agents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), who are a part of his protective detail. However, when out of state, FDLE agents often supplement the governor’s protective detail with local law enforcement officers.


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