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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.

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.

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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.

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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