Hurricane Irma swept through Florida and, as expected, left a trail of destruction in its wake. While the full extent of the damage from the unprecedented storm has yet to be discovered, it is commonly known that numerous downed wires and fallen utility poles have left large parts of the state without power. At the intersection of South East 132nd Street Road and US 301 is a stop light. After the storm, the lines that provide this stop light with power were out of commission as repair crews around the state first focused on restoring the electricity to top priorities like hospitals and nursing homes.
On Monday, close to 3:00 in the morning, an unnamed 59-year-old man from Mississippi was driving his Ford F-250 in the southbound lanes of US 301 when it closed in on the intersection with SE 132nd Street Road in Marion County. It is not clear whether or not the man saw the light without power and, if so, what he believed road law dictated in a situation where a stop light is out of commission. What is known is that at the same time that this individual was nearing the intersection a second car, towing a trailer and being driven by an individual who the Florida Highway Patrol has yet to describe in any way, was traveling down SE 132nd Street Road towards US 301.
Reaching the intersection at roughly the same time, it appears that neither of the drivers slowed down or stopped. Instead, both attempted to continue on their way at the same time. The 59-year-old’s F-250 collided directly with the trailer being pulled by the other vehicle. Subsequently, the truck became horribly entangled with the metal supports and frame of the trailer.
Even though all emergency services throughout the state find themselves currently inducted with top priority emergencies as the cleanup from Irma takes place, members of the Florida State Troopers arrived at the scene of the accident shortly after the collision took place. There, they pronounced the driver of the F-250 dead at the scene. While the age and state of origin for the man was somehow verified, the FHP reported that the full identity of the individual has yet to be discovered.
As the recovery efforts are underway, the FHP wants to alert everyone to the presence of these downed or powerless stop lights. In the event that any individual approaches a stoplight temporarily without power, they are reminded that in times like these all intersections with malfunctioning lights should be treated by motorists as 4-way stops. Right of way goes to emergency vehicles or those who arrive at the intersection first.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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If you or someone you love has been injured in a vehicle accident, call toll-free at 1-888-FLA-Auto (1-888-352-2886).
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