POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating a crash involving three vehicles including a FDOT Road Ranger.
FHP says just after 5:00 p.m. a Road Ranger was assisting a driver of a Lexus on the inside shoulder due to a flat tire on I-4 near the Hillsborough County line.
Troopers say a driver of a Ford minivan failed to move over and for an unknown reason, traveled onto the shoulder and collided with the Road Ranger’s vehicle.
Sgt. Mary Godino told 8 On Your Side the van showed no apparent signs of stopping before slamming into the FDOT truck at full speed.
“He had cones out, traffic board up with arrow telling people to move over, lights flashing,” Godino explained. “This is a tragic situation that could have been prevented.”
The Road Ranger vehicle was then pushed into the back of the vehicle with the flat tire.
The driver of the van was identified late Monday night as 72 year old Joseph Schoenbauer of Apopka. His wife and passenger, Winifred, was in critical condition at last check.
The driver of the Road Ranger vehicle suffered minor injuries and was transported to Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center. The Lexus driver was uninjured.
Florida’s Move Over law states drivers must change lanes when there is an emergency vehicle displaying lights and signals stopped on the roadside. FDOT Road Rangers are classified as an emergency vehicle under the law.
If drivers cannot move over, they should slow down to 20 MPH below the posted speed limit.
At least 231 crashes in Florida in 2018 can be attributed to drivers breaking the Move Over law.