HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Two family members from South Carolina were killed and three others were injured in an early-morning crash at a Hernando County intersection where a traffic light wasn’t working, according to Florida Highway Patrol troopers.
The crash happened at the intersection of SR-50 and US-301 in the Ridge Manor area just after 3 a.m. Friday. According to troopers, the traffic light at the intersection was “inoperative” due to a fire nearby.
A crash report says a family of five from Moncks Corner, South Carolina was headed south on US-301 in an SUV while a flat-bed tractor-trailer was headed east on SR-50. The tractor-trailer entered the intersection moments before the SUV and the two vehicles collided, the report says.
“The SUV hit the side of the tractor trailer which jackknifed, causing the vehicle to rotate. As it rotated, two of the passengers inside were ejected and suffered fatal injuries at the scene of the crash,” said Sergeant Steve Gaskins with the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers say both passengers who were ejected – a 53-year-old woman and a 34-year-old man – died at the scene. Neither was wearing a seatbelt at the time, according to the crash report.
The 29-year-old woman driving the SUV suffered serious injuries. Two young passengers, a 1-year-old girl and an 8-year-old girl, had minor injuries.
According to Sgt. Steve Gaskins with the FHP, the woman driving the SUV and the man who died in the crash are the parents of the two children. The woman who died in the crash was the mother of the man who died. Troopers have not released their names since they are still waiting to notify family.
Sergeant Gaskins says it’s likely the family traveling from South Carolina was not aware of the problems ahead.
“It’s a dark area, but without the traffic lights functioning, probably never knew what happened,” said Gaskins.
The 42-year-old man driving the tractor-trailer suffered minor injuries.