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. K

    Deport her please! This needs to be enforced its a privilege to live in this country.

    February 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Just Saying

    I see a number of people saying that it would be unfair for us to go after the illegal immigrants that are already here and that we should basically start fresh to stop any more from coming. I would like to point out that is a rather ignorant view on things. I can only assume that these people have forgotten that we already went through this exact same scenario 25 years ago in 1986, when there was a blanket amnesty offered to nearly all illegal immigrants in the US at that point. It was supposed to be a one-time only act, and certain provisions were to be made to prevent the problem from occurring again by "securing" our borders. Does this sound at all similar to the ideas being put forth now to grant a blanket amnesty for all illegal immigrants currently in the US? Maybe that's because it is EXACTLY the same!

    Insanity can be defined as doing the same thing over and over, yet expecting a different result. We've been in this exact SAME situation before, and tried the exact SAME steps that are being proposed to allow amnesty for current illegals, and now 2.5 decades later, our number of illegal immigrants is over 3 times higher than it was in 1986. Yet, those pushing the amnesty plan seriously think that this time will be different?

    February 21, 2012 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  3. Tom

    There are a lot of "regular" American girls who weren't born here, but didn't overstay a visa and aren't illegal. She doesn't need to be deported to a country she doesn't know.

    February 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Why are we talking about deportation.

      I support high speed rail. End this carnage of brain matter and burning bodies on the freeway.

      February 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Politico

    "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." Isn't that against our law? Ship her home.

    Maybe if those dam illegals hadn't been here in the first place, we, the taxpayers, would not have to be paying for the aftermath of their auto accident, including this young woman's care.

    Find them and ship them out before they sink the darn ship.

    February 24, 2012 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Norskejente

      Politico, Maybe if your European ancestors hadn't come here and invaded this country and all the while, torturing iand killing it's people things would be better here. From your comment you are just as ignorant, heartless and mean like your ancestors. It is people like you that makes so many others hate Americans. Bet you are real proud to be a heartless soul.

      February 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • WASP

      For the children their should be no borders. Do what ever is best for the child.

      February 26, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Politico: I hope you experience something in your life that makes you a very sad little man. You are all that's wrong with the world today. God, I sure can't wait until you try to say something like a big man to somebody that takes exception to it. You're in for a rude awakening son.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Seriously? According to you this was NOT caused by thick Smog & Smoke. Not by two AMERICAN cops but a 15 year old girl who has spent 15 years in this country? I say deport YOU back to wherever your illegal relative came from.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bigcliff

      Politico, you have incredibly remarkable insight...just kidding, you're an isiot bordering on sociopath. Look it up.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      I agree with Politico, she should not have been here in the first place. If her parents were here illegally, the law is the law... You break it we shoudl deny all things... School, Healthcare, etc... Those here on a VISA should not have the right to any services..

      February 29, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Patiat

      Be happy, Politico. Bitterness doesn't equate with strength.

      March 1, 2012 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • paula parker

      You are so right. The United States deport some and let some stay. The whole thing for illegal aliens is a joke.

      March 1, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • lynnea1

      They deported a family from Honduras here in my city several years back; a family that had kept their papers current for years and accidentally let them lapse. Their kids had never been to Honduras; didnt know the language, etc. The father worked in our governor's office in 2001 and was the ONLY person who was willing to open the Governor's mail when we were so worried about powders in letters. If anyone deserved to stay, it was them.

      March 7, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • aragosc

      Some of these comments are just ridiculous – do people not realize that these 'illegal immigrants' are the truck drivers, gardeners, laborers and many other hard-working people who do jobs a lot of people wouldnt. They probably pay more taxes than many Americans who unnecessarily are collecting food stamps and asking for a handout (if not robbing and stealing).

      March 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • K

      I totally agree with you. Keep them out. The US is going to hell in a handbasket because of all the illegals. We support them in so many ways, yet we can't even find help to help our own people who were born here.

      March 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kendra

    Why is everyone worried about her being an illegal immigrant? Yes, I know that having illegal immigrants in this country is expensive but everything is expensive. We were all once immigrants and we stole this land. I am a Native American and I am not trying to get all of you English descendants and African American descendants off of my peoples' land. So do not act like we should just turn away other people. And if her family had not been in a car wreck it could have been a American family. I mean do you know how many wrecks happen each day. Stop being so prejudice. You pay for them to be in the country just like you pay for for everyone else. Stop pointing your finger at the immigrants.

    February 24, 2012 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • pho

      Great remark with the exception that you chose to include African Americans. As an African American I can ensure you that my ancestors had nothing to do with 'taking Native Americans land'.

      February 27, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • starbright

      Your own comment points out your own flaw. "You pay for them to be in the country...." Yes, we do. And we should NOT have to. We already can't afford to support the American citizens that rightfully need public assistance, let alone the number that abuse that system.

      Your notions of "not being prejudice" are cute, and well-intentioned. But there is a reason other countries are not ever this "welcoming" to illegal immigrant: it's very hard on a country and its resources.

      You sound young, so maybe you don't quite understand the financial/economic state of this nation right now. We truly cannot afford to be paying for illegal immigrants to use the public funds that are already insufficient to help legal citizens.

      As for this young girl, I feel incredibly sad for her and cannot imagine the horror of her situation. I hope she has a strong support system of friends and extended family.

      February 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kyle Michel Sullivan

      Apparently Pho never heard of the Buffalo Soldiers, African-American soldiers in the US Cavalry who were helping take over land from Native Americans.

      And I have to say, the vile, diseased, heartless comments by the anti-illegal immigrant crowd almost make me ashamed to be American (born in California).

      March 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jose lopez

      hey kendra your native americans lost the fight for this land...out of pure sympathy those pilgrims gave you a large mountainous reservation and a casino...most people who lose wars die...or are wiped out...check your history...those weak native (INDIANS) couldn't beat a cold with their spears and bows. get over're a descendent of failed border security and society of laws..your tribe lost and you're lucky those pilgrims didn't follow Machiavelli's rule cuz you won't of been here today to complain...stop saying we took your land, your ancestors fail...we won! Thank god for that, go look for your virgins and do your sacrifices to repent your failure.

      March 11, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
  6. Maria

    A 15 year old girl lost her entire family. Think about that. What if you lost your mother, your father, your brother, your sister? All at the same time? What if then, the United States of America said, sorry about your luck, you have to go to a country that you don't even know the language. Bye. Is that ok? This girl is in 9th or 10th grade. Do you remember being in 9th or 10th grade? We were children then. This girl deserves to have a chance here. Please stop saying nasty, horrible comments about her. She is a child. A little girl, just like the daughter you may have. What if you died. Would you want your child to be taken away from everything she has ever known? I didn't think so. I pray this little girl has an extended family that can take care of her and make her life happy after all she has lost.

    February 25, 2012 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
    • J R Brown

      It's not that I'm for deporting her because she's here illegally...doesn't she have family "somewhere else" that she needs to be going to live with now that her immediate family is gone? A grandparent...aunt...uncle...? We don't need them coming here....we need her to go be with them where THEY are.

      February 29, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Brian Phila

    Walking both sides. I agree law breakers of any sort need to be properly dealt with. That goes for bank robbers, as well as illegal immigrents. But as with all cases of fractured law a case by case investigation is best. If her family was discovered prior to the incident and shipped out as a family unit I would agree that was correct. But since the unit was broken the individual we are concerned with is a victim of adult misbehavior not the actual criminal.

    And as far as immigrants go my parents were immigrants too. But they observed the laws of the country they wished to be a part of and applied in a lawfull maner. I believe immigrants should be allowed into the country but those that break the law should be returned to the place of origin. As I said previously this little girl was the victim not the criminal. You want legitimate protection as a citizen then act like one and become a citizen rather than stealing it. Get over the symantics already. Breaking the law is a crime. If you've done the breaking no matter how you feel about the law your a criminal. < Thats a period at the end of that sentence.

    February 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • grandma carol

      I agree whole-heartedly with you. Yes, our country should be open to immigrants who come into this country legally and deport those who are entering illegally. As a pediatric nurse, I found myself takiung care of children whose parents were illegal but those children were here and needed care. We must continue to stand by our immigration laws but also have some reason and compassion.

      February 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Klaas Jan

    It's crap that an illegal immigrant is getting medical care not afforded to the majority of natural born residents.

    February 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam

      Can't have it both ways. If you're planning on voting republican then you gotta change something in your views...

      February 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • crabman

      @sam repubs and dems need to get on the same page -- same planet

      March 5, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lori

    She has been here too long...she knows little would be cruel to send her back.

    February 27, 2012 at 9:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Sam Thonotosassa

    All non-immigrants whose ancestors did not immigrate to North America, please raise their hands; you have NO right to speak about immigration, legal or illegal. I wish some of you were alive to see the illegals that came to this country from Europe??...give these poor & needy a chance; if life was all that great in their country they will not make an attempt to be here illegally. As long as these people work and contribute to the welfare of the land, let them stay; we need to ship back the criminals and the people who hate America. We need immigrants to work in our nursing homes, our farm lands, mow our lawns, serve in the hospitality business while the educated and well off work in other jobs; if not, you may have to deploy robots to change your parent's diapers while they are in the nursing home.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
    • starbright

      Most Americans have no problem with immigrants coming to here to contribute to society in a positive way. But they need to do so legally. When the first Europeans immigrated, they effectively took control of the land (like it or not, that's the way the world has ALWAYS worked) and set up a strong, concise system of laws.

      People who break the laws should be held accountable.

      If you here are illegally, you are breaking the law. And when you start looking at the number of convicted felons who are here illegally, it gets sickening. Those are people who have committed (mostly) violent crimes after committing their first crime (coming here illegally.)

      February 27, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Informingyou

      Starbright – Are you serious. You make the first European immigrants that came here sound like they did a good thing. Remember this land was occupied by Native Americans, and the things they did to the Native American people was horrific to say the least. They didn't abide by the law of the land that was already here! They drove innocent people off of their land, killed them, and gave them diseases that their bodies couldn't bare. Then they brought a group of other people (Africans) here and enslaved them. In my world it doesn't get much worse than that! Killing and enslaving. Please lets not make them sound so innocent. Also, the Bible tells us to welcome immigrants. If your not a Native American than you or your ansestors are/were immigrants. Let's just keep that in mind.

      February 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. J R Brown

    Didn't Jesus say "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's...?" How do you rationalize being an illegal immigrant with being a pastor? Jesus clearly wanted his followers to obey the laws of the governments under which they lived, so long as those laws didn't conflict with the laws of God. Being a christian doesn't mean you can be an illegal alien...breaking the immigration laws is a sin. How can you be a pastor when you're entire life is lived in a perpetual state of deliberate sin?

    *shakes head...wonders if the people who call themselves Christians have an ounce of common sense*

    February 29, 2012 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      JR Brown – Jesus would not give a hoot about man's laws. Think about Nazi Germany for example – you think obeying the laws around back then made anyone a good Christian? You think most of the laws around now give you brownie points for getting into heaven? Grow up.

      March 1, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Tampa

      Breaking an immigration law is not a sin. However not helping a person in need is a sin.

      March 8, 2012 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
  12. Some one from Brazil

    This forum was to discuss the situation of this girl, but unfortunately we took the conversation to a point that is very complex. American Friends, before you guys criticize and say that the Latino immigrants should be deported read this Ok.

    February 29, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Some one from Brazil

    The Role of Freemasonry

    In March 1864, still at war, South Masons of the United States, encouraged by Albert Piker, (Brigadier General Confederate and Masonic leader) wrote to Charles Nathan, Mason and English Jew who lived in Rio de Janeiro, and requested sondassem that the Brazilian government about the possibility of many American families to immigrate to Brazil.

    Charles Nathan took this matter to the Freemasons and the Emperor himself, who was a friend and in many matters, counselor. After assessing the issue properly Freemasonry and the Brazilian government decided to not only support, but also created and implemented the necessary support to such immigration.

    To unlink any official participation of masonry Brazilian and North American in the case, Nathan was instructed and authorized to drive this issue personally. So I came up in March 1865 in Rio de Janeiro International Association of Immigration, headed by Charles Nathan, Marcos Aurelio de Castro and Samuel de Oliveira Matos, known and active Masons Brazil at that time.

    Officials indicated and members of the International Association of Immigration (read Masons Brazilian volunteers), positioned themselves not only in the ports where the Americans would disembark as in villages, districts and cities where they would go, effectively cooperating, although extremely discreet for that immigration ocorrece the best possible way. Recepcionaram newly arrived immigrants, gave them welcome and properly forwarded to their final destinations.

    Both Freemasonry as the Brazilian imperial government saw these American people with good moral and intellectual formation and especially with agricultural knowledge that could leverage the development of a vast region of the interior. So a broad policy of support and these immigrants was implemented.

    February 29, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Some one from Brazil

    Immigration Part 3

    The United States immigration to Brazil began later that year, 1865, in small ships and yachts retired in haste, "moved more by the pain and feelings of despair than the candle itself." They were men, women and children tired, many wounded, sick and others killed, but who were determined to resume their lives in distant Brazil.

    Between 1865 and 1885, quese ten thousand Americans from Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, Mississippi, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Kentuch, Tennessee, especially, landed at the port of Belém, Vitória , Rio de Janeiro and Santos. When they arrived they had to redouble its forces already weakened and face other long and hard travel by land to reach the region of Campinas, where the climate and soils are similar to the southern United States. But they managed, by God, they got ...


    But the longing of the United States and the memories of the past remained dormant, as evidenced by this excerpt from another letter of Pettie Steagali, Brazilian-American newspaper, 8/11/1.928:

    "Our farm was beautiful and had several acres, fine houses, horses and cattle. We had corn mill machinery to benefit cotton "...

    "The Brazilian government received us very well, we stayed at the Hotel of Immigrants, giving us food and shelter. It was my duty to explain that we were not immigrants. We were refugees. Refugees of war. "

    February 29, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Some one from Brazil

    Colonization part 4

    We established several centers of colonization in the region of Campinas, where the Brazilian government and Freemasonry continued support and giving the necessary support until these immigrants – or war refugees and said Pettie Steagali – began to produce.

    In all cores colonized lands were cultivated, but in 1866, with the arrival of Corenel Hutchiinson William Norris, a former civil war combatants and ex-senator from Alabama, the heart of Santa Barbara D'Oeste had a rapid development and began to attract many families who had settled in distant cores. Several farms were opened by the Americans who worked, enjoyed and traded cotton, and rice dry land, watermelon (like Georgia Rattlesnake), cheese, butter, honey, tobacco and various other subsistence products.

    Yet speak Portuguese adaquadamente Colonel Norris, assisted by Masons Brazilian who spoke English began to teach farming techniques and provide seeds selected to Brazilians interested. The plow hitherto unknown in the region, was introduced and began to be used on virtually all farms. Agricultural production and its subsequent commercialization grown and diversified in such proportions that Santa Barbara D'Oeste began to be a focus of interest and attention.

    City of American

    In 1869, because of increasing agricultural production and diversification driven by Americans and Brazilians have learned and applied the new agricultural techniques, the Brazilian government, through the Companhia Paulista Railroad decided to build a railroad through the region. The station was opened in Santa Barbara 27/08/1.875 by the Emperor Dom Pedro II.

    The Mason Inácio Correa Pacheco Brazilian demarked the land around this season that were bought mostly by immigrant Americans. These lots were built several houses and shops built, giving a boost economic and social without coming to this region. Due to the predominant presence of Americans that place came to be known as Village of Americans (1870), Villa Americana (1900), District of Americana (1904) and finally, the city of Americana (1924).

    Also in 1875 the American engineer William Putney Ralston joined the Brazilians Antonio and Augusto de Souza Queiroz and implemented the Industry Textel Carioba (white cloth in Tupi Guarani), three kilometers from the station at Santa Barbara, on the banks of the river maroons, whose hydraulic water would move their looms. This railroad industry and not only consolidated the agricultural production and definitely boosted the development of the whole region.

    Today America is one of the most important cities of São Paulo, with almost 200,000 inhabitants. Result not only of American immigration, but also of Brazilian Portuguese origin that was already there, and later Italian immigration (1887) and German (1892) for the region.

    February 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
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