A disastrous car accident at about 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, November 30, ended in the wrongful deaths of two innocent people and serious injuries to two others. The wreck involved two semi tractor-trailer trucks and a passenger car that was driving the wrong way on westbound I-10 in DeFuniak Springs.
Interstate 10 was shut down completely for several hours after the fatal car accident,. The westbound lanes were only reopened at approximately 2 a.m. Wednesday morning, and the eastbound side of the freeway remains restricted to a single lane. The Florida Department of Transportation says that the outside eastbound lane at the scene of the multi-vehicle accident will need to be completely repaved.
Wrong-Way Driver Hits One Semi-Truck Head-On, Sends It Careening Into Another Semi
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of an Oldsmobile was traveling the wrong direction on westbound I-10 when it was involved in a head-on collision with a Peterbilt semi-trailer. The Oldsmobile then spun out and came to a stop on the shoulder of the road, where a passenger was ejected and killed.
The Peterbilt semi-trailer was forced further into traffic by the impact and hit a nearby Volvo semi-trailer in a T-bone crash. The tractor section of the Peterbilt ended up on the median, and the trailer section overturned, still attached to the tractor, in the eastbound lane.
The Volvo tractor-trailer came to a stop in the outside eastbound lane, where it caught fire. The driver of the Volvo truck was killed.
The 54-year-old driver of the Peterbilt semi-trailer was seriously injured in the first car-truck accident, and was taken to North Okaloosa Medical Center. The driver of the Oldsmobile was critically injured and taken to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.
Tragically, what could have been mere careless driving by the Oldsmobile driver is now being investigated as two counts of vehicular homicide. The FHP said charges are pending against the driver critically injured who was critically injured in the first tractor-trailer wreck.
The FHP has not released the names of the two victims of the fatal car accidents, or the name of the wrong-way driver.
Troopers said that the Oldsmobile was heavy smashed up, sustaining approximately $10,000 in damage. Both of the tractor-trailers sustained about $30,000 in damage in the wreck. According to FDOT, the repaving required by the tractor-trailer fire will take up to 10 days to repair and cost between $100,000 and $125,000.
Source: Northwest Florida Daily News, "UPDATED: Three-vehicle wreck kills two; roadwork estimated at $125,000," Angel McCurdy, December 1, 2010