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April 15, 2020

An investigation into a possible DUI is underway within Marion County after a drunk driving accident took place along Interstate 75 that resulted in a violent collision between a car and a cruiser with the Florida Highway Patrol. Reports from the FHP indicated that the incident began shortly before 9:30 when a pair of troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol were inside of their cruiser, parked in a paved emergency lane along the side of the highway.

At this same time, a 39-year-old from North Dakota was approaching down the northern I-75 lanes. The 39-year-old was behind the wheel of a 2002 Oldsmobile Alero at the time. As they neared the location where the two officers were sitting in their cruiser, the 39-year-old apparently lost control of their vehicle. The Oldsmobile swerved across the highway and wound up in the same leftmost emergency lane as the two officers seated in the cruiser. It is not clear if the officers were aware of what was happening behind them. It is similarly unclear if the driver of the Oldsmobile was aware of the cruiser lying directly ahead of them.

Regardless of the awareness held by any of the three involved, the 39-year-old driver of the Oldsmobile was not able to prevent their car from crashing into the rear of the FHP vehicle. The force of the collision caused both of the troopers to receive injuries, although the reports did make clear that these injuries were minor. When the emergency response crews reached the area, they dressed the wounds of the two officers as best as they could before taking them to West Marion Hospital for further treatment. It is not known if either of the officers remained at the hospital for any prolonged length of time or if they were released shortly after arriving at the medical center.

The driver of the Oldsmobile was far more seriously injured in the accident. They were transported from the scene to Ocala Regional Hospital where they were described as resting in critical condition.

According to the preliminary investigation, alcohol was a contributing factor to the accident. Charges are likely pending.

Sources:

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