Fatal Orlando U-Haul crash under trooper investigation

A driver in an unfamiliar vehicle has every reason to take extra precautions when driving. Getting behind the wheel of a different vehicle, especially one that may be much larger than a driver is used to operating, requires an adjustment period. Bigger, heavier vehicles take up more roadway space and take longer than smaller vehicles to stop.

The Florida Highway Patrol recently reported a fatal truck accident involving a driver operating a rental truck. The Orange County crash happened on eastbound State Road 528 as two trucks, both pulling trailers, collided.

Troopers said a 58-year-old Defuniak Springs man was driving a U-Haul truck closely behind a pickup in the passing lane of State road 528. The U-Haul reportedly struck the pickup’s trailer. The rental truck driver hit the brakes and swerved right, losing control of the U-Haul. The vehicle went down an embankment and struck several trees.

The U-Haul driver was hospitalized with serious injuries. His 22-year-old passenger, another Defuniak Springs resident, was transported to Orlando Regional Medical Center, where he died. Police reports did not mention whether the men were related. The driver of the pickup truck was unhurt.

The state police investigation was continuing. Investigators are trying to determine whether the accident victims were wearing seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.

No matter what caused the accident, it’s evident that many drivers in Florida and all over the country follow other vehicles too closely. Merely staying a few yards back can make a huge difference.

Source: Orlando Sentinel, “State Road 528 crash kills passenger, injures driver,” Arelis R. Hernandez, May 31, 2012


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