The Vero Beach Seafood Festival was intended to be a welcome celebration in the South Florida community, particularly following the restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic the past couple of years. Unfortunately, tragedy struck on May 14, 2022, even before the gates opened to the public for the Vero Beach Seafood Festival.
During the morning of the Vero Beach Seafood Festival’s opening, a woman was hospitalized after she suffered severe burns when her food truck exploded at the festival site. An investigation by different parties into the cause of the explosion appears to be heading in one direction: the chain of events that caused that woman to be severely injured in the Vero Beach Seafood Festival explosion were preventable. In other words, the Vero Beach Seafood Festival explosion did not need to occur in the first instance. No one needed to be injured as a result of what has proven to be a catastrophic event.
The victim of the Vero Beach Seafood Festival explosion has been identified as Michelle Dietterick. Dietterick is the owner of owner of Michelle’s Catch of the Day. The explosion occurred at her trailer on the morning of May 14, 2022, and about 9:00 a.m.
Dietterick is 53 years old and is a resident of Port St. in Florida. Her food truck is a regular feature in different types of celebrations and events throughout the year.
Directly following the Vero Beach Seafood Festival explosion when Dietterick was taken to an area medical center her conditions was listed as critical. According to hospital sources, as result of the blast, Diettrerick suffered from severe burns to various parts of her body that include:
- Severe facial burns
- Severe hand burns
- Severe arm burns
- Severe leg burns
In addition to severe burns, Dietterick suffered a collapsed lung. Dietterick also endured facial fractures as a result of the Vero Beach Seafood Festival explosion.
Prior to the explosion, there were people at the site of the Vero Beach Seafood Festival that indicated that they smelled natural gas in the area of Dietterick’s food truck. There is some preliminary evidence being analyzed that there may have been some sort of natural gas leak or rupture issue unassociated with Dietterick’s food truck. Nonetheless, she and her mobile business were in relatively close proximity to the natural gas issue.
There is also some developing evidence that those responsible for the safety of people at the Vero Beach Seafood Festival, including vendors, did not respond in a timely manner to the warnings about the potential natural gas issue. Had they done so, Dietterick might have been spared the extensive injuries she has endured.
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