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March 4, 2021

Interstate traffic along I-75 was closed down for hours on March 2nd, 2021, as authorities with the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) started their investigation into a deadly multi-vehicle pileup which injured multiple motorists and claimed the life of a 51-year-old pedestrian just north of State Road 326 near mile marker 358.5 in Marion County.

According to early incident reports from first responders with the Florida Highway Patrol and the Marion County Fire Rescue, authorities were alerted and dispatched at approximately 7:43 p.m. Tuesday evening to a stretch of highway along the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 close to mile marker 358.5 north of Ocala. Upon their arrival at the crash site, they discovered four individuals – 1 pedestrian and 3 motorists – all suffering from a range of severe, life-threatening injuries, as well as several mangled vehicles sprawled across the roadway. A man and a woman inside an SUV were transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center in serious condition and a 32-year-old female driver in a Hyundai was taken to the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, also in serious condition. Sadly, medical teams were unable to provide any emergency care to the 51-year-old pedestrian as he had passed away at the scene almost immediately after the accident occurred.

As local Marion County law enforcement officials and crime scene reconstructionists worked in conjunction with the Florida Highway Patrol in order to further understand the events leading up to this tragic event, they determined that the 51-year-old male pedestrian had been walking down I-75 when an oncoming Cadillac SUV presumably did not see the victim and crashed into him. Within a matter of minutes, the sport utility vehicle was rear-ended by the Hyundai which shoved the sedan sideways into the interstate’s emergency lane from the force of impact. Unfortunately, this was not the end of the chain-reaction crash because an approaching semi-truck from Chicago t-boned the Hyundai after the rig’s driver was unable to avoid the nasty pileup.

At this current time it is unknown why the 51-year-old victim was walking in such a dangerous area, as most interstate systems do not usually contain crosswalks or pedestrian-friendly points of passage. However, the Florida Highway Patrol is working diligently to solve this case which will hopefully provide some sense of closure for everyone involved.

Sources:

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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