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Third victim dies after crash where Sen. Frist assisted

Shadia Rene, 20, died early Saturday. Her brother and sister also died in the accident.
Shadia Rene, 20, died early Saturday. Her brother and sister also died in the accident.

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Sen. Bill Frist, who is a doctor, assists people injured in a Florida highway accident.
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- Nearly three days after a deadly car accident on Florida's Alligator Alley highlighted the "good Samaritan" work of incoming Senate majority leader Bill Frist, a third victim died early Saturday after she was taken off life support, according to a hospital statement.

Shadia Rene, 20, died at 1:05 a.m., the statement from Broward General Medical Center said. Her brother and sister also died in the accident.

On New Year's Day, Tennessee Republican Bill Frist -- just elected to serve as Senate majority leader when Congress reconvenes next week -- assessed the horrific traffic accident and started treatment for the worst injured, according to the rescuers who worked at his side.

Tennessee's senior senator was one of seven "good Samaritans" to stop and help Wednesday afternoon when an SUV blew a tire and overturned on Florida's "Alligator Alley," the part of Interstate 75 that goes east and west across Florida's southern tip.

Six people were in the vehicle, including Felicienne Kali, 11, who died at the scene, and her 14-year-old brother, Felix Kali, who died Thursday evening at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood, Florida.

Felix was riding in the cargo area of the SUV at the time of the accident.

As of early Saturday, the children's mother Stella Kali, 39, was in critical condition and their father Jocelyn Kali, 40, was listed in good condition, according to BGMC.

Meme Chery, 33, who was not a member of the family, was released Friday, the hospital statement said.

A trust fund is in the process of being established at Bank of America to assist the family with the funeral expenses for the three deceased children.

'My heart goes out to this family'

Frist's quick action "saved lives," according to one paramedic. But to the rescuers on the scene, Frist was not the rising star Republican senator from Tennessee -- he was a vacationing surgeon willing to step in where he was needed.

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Florida Highway Patrol officers on the scene of the Alligator Alley accident

The accident happened before 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon when an Isuzu sport-utility vehicle rolled over several times as it traveled east, according to Lt. John Bagnardi, a spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol.

He said the SUV had a tire blow-out in which the entire tread came off the tire. At least three of the victims were ejected from the car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Nick Smith, a spokesman for Frist, told CNN the senator was spending time with his family in Florida, and was driving in the area with two of his sons. Frist did not see the accident, but came upon the scene shortly after it had happened, Smith said.

"As a doctor, my first instincts are to help, and I was privileged to offer my assistance today at the scene of this horrible accident," Frist said in a written statement. "My heart goes out to this family which must face the start of the New Year with this terrible tragedy. My thoughts and prayers are with them."

Frist also praised the emergency medical personnel on the scene and the law enforcement officers.

Frist, who is certified in general and heart surgery, was recently elected Senate majority leader to replace former Republican leader Sen. Trent Lott, R-Mississippi. Lott resigned his post after making comments that appeared to support segregation.

It's not the first time Frist has used his medical expertise to help others while he was officially working as a senator. On July 24, 1998, Frist had just finished presiding on the floor of the Senate when a gunman fired at people inside the Capitol. Two Capitol police officers were killed and a female tourist was wounded. Frist aided the victims as well as the gunman, who was wounded by police gunfire. Frist resuscitated the suspect before he was transported to a hospital.

On October 2, 2001, Frist went to the aid of now-retired Sen. Strom Thurmond after the veteran lawmaker fell ill in the Senate chamber. He also resuscitated a tourist who had a heart attack in the Capitol.



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