Florida Tractor Trailer Accidents Leave Three Dead

Three people were killed in two separate tractor trailer accidents in two days on Florida roadways.Three people were killed within two days in two separate accidents involving tractor tractors in Florida.

WJHG TV
reports that two people were killed on July 12 when the semi they were riding in overturned on Highway 231 in Jackson County.

Police said that the accident occurred around 8:30 a.m. at Kynesville Road in Cottondale just south of the Florida Alabama state border when the truck apparently drifted onto the shoulder of the highway. According to officials, the driver of the 18-wheeler tried to get back on the roadway but over-corrected and lost control of the vehicle, causing it to overturn.

Fifty-four-year-old Bruce Reeder and 48-year-old Donna Reeder, both from Youngstown, were killed in the accident.

Also in Florida, the driver of a sports utility vehicle (SUV) was killed when he slammed into a tractor trailer on the U.S. 98 Bypass just north of downtown Lakeland on July 13.

According to the Lakeland Ledger, the accident occurred when 23-year-old Thor Olsen Jr. was heading north on North Florida Avenue around 2:30 a.m. and his 2002 Toyota 4Runner struck a big rig at the bypass intersection.

Officials told the news agency that the tractor trailer was fully loaded with frozen meat at the time of the accident. The force of the impact of the 4Runner tore away the truck’s back axle. Olsen was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision. A preliminary investigation showed that both vehicles came to rest just east of the intersection following the strike.

An investigation into the exact cause of the accident is underway, but witnesses reportedly told police that Olsen was driving at a high rate of speed before the collision. Police said that Olsen was not wearing a seatbeat at the time of the crash.

The driver of the truck, 34-year-old Don Steadman of Lakeland, was reportedly not severely injured in the accident. Officials said that he was wearing his seatbelt at the time the truck was hit.

The accident forced the closure of the bypass road for more than seven hours while emergency crews worked to clear the wreckage.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were 2,558 fatalities as the result of motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania in 2009, of those killed, 1,099 people were drivers.