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Failed traffic light blamed for fatal crash

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An inoperable traffic signal is being blamed for a collision near Ridge Manor that left two people dead and three more injured.

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On June 4, a 29-year-old South Carolina woman, her husband, 34, their two children ages 1- and 8 years-old and her 53-year-old mother-in-law were traveling southbound on US 301when the SUV she was driving collided at the intersection of US 301 and SR 50 with an unloaded, flat-bed tractor trailer driven eastbound on SR 50 by a Weeki Wachee man.

According to investigators from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) the traffic light at the intersection was rendered inoperable by a fire nearby.

FHP public information officer Sgt. Steve Gaskins said that the tractor-trailer driver had arrived at the intersection just moments ahead of the SUV when that vehicle collided with the truck’s left side. The impact caused the tractor-trailer to jackknife onto the southbound shoulder of the road.

The SUV rotated to the east side of the intersection, and finally stopped on SR-50, east of the intersection. The man and his mother, who were not wearing seatbelts at the time of collision were ejected from the vehicle, and died at the scene.

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The driver suffered severe injuries as a result of the crash. The children sustained only minor injuries.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.


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