Family releases first post-crash pic of pileup victim
A photo given exclusively to CNN shows Lidiane Carmo at a Florida hospital after a wreck killed most of her immediate family.
February 10th, 2012
10:26 AM ET

Family releases first post-crash pic of pileup victim

The family of a Brazilian teenager who was injured in a multivehicle wreck in Florida last month - a wreck that killed at least 11 people, including four of her relatives, amid dense fog and smoke from a brush fire - has released the first post-crash picture of her exclusively to CNN.

Lidiane Carmo, 15, is progressing at Shands at the University of Florida hospital, where she has been since the January 29 wreck on I-75 outside Gainesville, one of her uncles said.

The case of Lidiane, who has lived in the United States for most of her life, drew widespread attention after church members said she was an illegal immigrant, and they were afraid she could face deportation. But federal officials said last week that she would be allowed to stay in the United States.

Her father, Jose Carmo, was a pastor at International Church of the Restoration in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Lidiane came to the United States from Brazil when she was only 2, another pastor at the church told CNN; the family stayed in the United States after their visas expired, CNN affiliate WSB reported.

Jose Carmo; his wife, Adriana; their daughter Leticia; Jose's brother Edsom Carmo; and a companion were killed the in the wreck. Edsom Carmo was driving one of the church's vans.

The Carmo family's bodies were transported to Marietta on Wednesday, and a funeral is scheduled for Monday at a separate Atlanta-area church. Lidiane wants to attend but cannot leave the hospital, her uncle said.

"She is like any regular American girl. (But) she wasn't born here," the Rev. Aron Amazonas said last week. "She acts like an American girl. She almost can't speak the Portuguese language. She doesn't know the people there."

soundoff (293 Responses)
  1. Marcos Resende

    One of the foundations of the church of today is to consider racism a sin and that God does not use favoritism. In Christ we are brothers and sisters, regardless of where, or what nation, or tribe, we will. But, unfortunately, is not always so in reality. Maybe because we insist on face fear in us that causes a person 'different', this fear rooted in our guts, place of difficult access to the arguments of reason. It happens sometimes that, to our surprise, that fear emerges unexpectedly. For example, when walking down a street, I do not care about being followed by someone who looks like me. But if one has an odd, if different from me, in this case I'm worried. Perhaps because people associate certain historical facts or politicians who threatened us in the past. These people, such as the smell of strange food, intrigue us or displease us. If this is true, maybe you should admit it instead of pretending otherwise. Better yet is to read the Bible stories of those saints and prophets who knew prejudices and taboos deeply rooted in their lives, which were transformed by God.

    The dream of Peter changed his mind and his heart also. He finally became convinced that "God is no respecter of persons." When he began preaching, the Holy Spirit came upon the Gentiles. What else could Peter do so, but recommend that these Gentiles were baptized? The same truth had dawned also Jonas, namely, that God loves all people, because they are all created by God. Both texts tell us of decisive moments in the life of communities that put an end to racial exclusivism, and at the same time, speak of the individual life of the characters involved, the new understanding they gained of the relationship between Jews and Gentiles. This is because in the eyes of God, no one is common or unclean.

    February 13, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • NutGrinder

      anyone else just see 2 paragraphs of blah blah blah ignorance blah blah fairy tales blah blah blah?

      February 16, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. neptonomist sentry

    So, I guess if you're in a crash it's ok to be here illegally? Is she paying out of her own pocket for the hospital visit?

    February 14, 2012 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  3. Marcos Resende

    First of all, she was only two years when she came to this country, not asked to come, already lived here for 13 years, do not know hardly anything to speak Portuguese, learned to live like an American girl. But you're only concerned with money, money and money. Because of that this generation is bankrupt, the world is bankrupt, all because of damn money. But remember one thing, all born naked and not bring anything, and when we die we will take something from this life? Everything we build here, here will be when we die for other people to enjoy, destroy, donate etc etc. ..

    February 14, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • sherry

      You are right. We are losing our humanity. It is always about money. She is a child who lost several members of her family. Leave her alone. She has been here almost her entire life!!

      February 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tanya


      February 16, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • lara336

      It's ok, a lot of people come to the comment boards just to start things. Unhappy with their own lives, they have to start arguments in attempt for satisfaction. The girl in the crash has every right to stay in the U.S. even if not technically legal. Its the bigger picture here.

      February 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      Whole new realm of insane stupidity going on here lol

      February 20, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. rad666

    If they are illegal deport them period.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      LOLOLOL you simple minded laughable joke

      February 20, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Alisa

    This is one compelling reason why the USA should NOT deport illegal immigrants. First, this young woman has been in the USA for 13 years. Secondly, her family died here in the USA. Enough said, leave it alone and find other useless reasons why deportation should occur for others here illegally...

    February 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • wsj

      People like you should be deported. Bye bye.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Just Saying

      So, if you can break the law without getting caught for a long enough period of time, they should be allowed to get away with it? This is a very unfortunate situation for this girl. However, it is ridiculous to try and point to this one example and say that we "should NOT deport illegal immigrants".

      How about I point to a couple of other stories also from Florida (south of Tampa) just after this happened. In the same weekend, there were 2 separate incidents in which illegal immigrants were driving drunk (and without any driver's licenses) and multiple people were killed in each of the accidents. In one case, the illegal immigrant had been picked up multiple times for DUI and driving without a license. However, due to the current laws under the current president, those weren't considered "deportable offenses". If we had deported that illegal immigrant any of the previous times he was caught for breaking ANOTHER law, then there are several legal US residents that would be alive now.

      What do you have to say to that, Alisa? It's a pretty simple concept, if you are here illegally, then you should expect to be deported. We are one of the few countries to allow such relatively unfettered access to our country by illegal immigrants, and yet none of the rest of the countries in the world are being called horrible names for rightfully protecting their borders.

      February 21, 2012 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. JaneDoe

    What a sad smile ... I did not have to read the story to weep for her great loss and pain.

    February 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. MCM

    How can anyone look into the eyes of that child and not feel compassion? I would sponsor her for a green card if I could.

    February 16, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • wsj

      You can. Pony up some bucks.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      WSJ is an immoral heartless thug who doesn't think through anything anymore and only spits out knee jerk reactions because he is angry and hateful.

      February 20, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  8. curt

    Sad she lost so much so quick.

    I don't know why they moved to U.S.A isn't marijuana legal in Brazil... I wan't to move there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Stupid yanks.

    February 17, 2012 at 1:23 am | Report abuse |
  9. MotoJB

    "The case of Lidiane, who has lived in the United States for most of her life, drew widespread attention after church members said she was an illegal immigrant, and they were afraid she could face deportation. But federal officials said last week that she would be allowed to stay in the United States.

    Her father, Jose Carmo, was a pastor at International Church of the Restoration in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta."

    WTH??? This country sometimes makes me sick. These people should be either jailed, fined or in her case...DEPORTED. Ridiculous. When are we going to enforce the laws in a way that's right/fair to the law abiding citizens and legal immigrants that bothered to follow due process to get here???? PATHETIC.

    February 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • little

      As far as she is concerned there is no "due process." She was a toddler when she arrived in this country and knows nothing else. What is pathetic is the fact that your compassion as a human being goes no farther than what your ignorant views on immigration allow you to believe. Politics politics blah blah blah. Knowing nothing about your ancestry, but assuming instead, it's likely your bloodlines are responsible for taking this country over and killing the only natives that ever belonged here. In all consideration, you should be deported too, as should I. As should everyone that isn't Native American. Open your mind and stop being a brat.

      February 17, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Oh The Inhumanity

    I don't understand why this iis even an issue. I doubt that this young woman could file papers and pay her dues when she was 2 years old. She has lived here. Lost her family here. If we want to work on illegal immigration, we need to start with those that come here and break the law. This girl did not break the law. Just think, we are fortunate to have been born here, thus are citizens of a wonderful country. I work with refugees who go through the process of becoming citizens here and what I find unsettling is that they know more about our country than we do. If we were asked the questions that they have to answer, we would get deported. Can we please get back to having some compassion for people and look outside of ourselves?

    February 18, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Christopher Rose

    While I am sympathetic to her situation, I am not sympathetic to those here illegally.The point that gets lost here is none of this would be an issue except that her parents decided to break the law. In cases where it can be proven that the child was brought here as a youngster I think the kids once reaching adulthood should be allowed to stay. I think the parents however should be deported. Immigration here is a privilege, not a right. I'm all for controlled and beneficial immigration. I am not however for giving an inch of quarter to those who choose to flout the law and then expect the rest of us to welcome them with open arms. If it where Americans moving en masse to Mexico we would be accused of colonialism. Offer an amnesty where kids like this can get citizenship however the condition is the parents must surrender and be deported.

    February 19, 2012 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jason

      I am pro closing the border but you will never EVER see the USA deport millions of people. Its not going to happen, so I suggest you focus on something else!

      February 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      I see what you're saying, but think about it...

      If you have this situation where a family immigrates illegally to the US, and gets caught, they will deport the entire family back to their home country. If you were to turn around and tell them "You have to go but your kids under (whatever age) can stay" you will have Humans Rights advocates ALL over it. You will have all kinds of "...they're separating families" etc kinds of comments all over the place, then eventually one of the families will sue, win and live better lives than we do.

      It is a sad situation, and I do believe that she should be able to stay here, there is nothing there in her native country for her, especially since she hasn't been there since she was about 2, but you can't make the distinction by age. If her family had not suffered that tragedy and had been caught, all of them would have been deported anyway...just my thought on it...

      I hope it all works out for her.

      February 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  12. nanna

    ~My heart goes out to this lovely child. She cannot help what has happened. Let us all share her sadness for awhile and know that it is what it is. She did nothing wrong. She is hurting inside so much. Things are out of control in this country but she did not cause it. I am sure she had a beautiful family, loving and kind. Now she is alone without her parents and her other family. I blame the years of stupidity letting people come to the states as they please and now we have a big, ugly mess. Maybe no way to straighten it all out but this is not the fault of the children.

    February 19, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Mr. Darcy Fournier

    As a human being and one that has done nothing that we know of to intentionally hurt another she belongs where ever she wants to belong...We do not own the country....We do no own the world...its merely lent to us.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jason

    All you people whining about immigration. Let me break it to you: We will never deport the illegal immigrants. EVER. NOT EVER. So I suggest you start blaming someone else for your problems.

    February 20, 2012 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jason

    I love people sitting here trying to figure out how to make this situation fit into their tiny view of the universe. Christian nation my butt.

    February 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
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