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Three-vehicle crash in Marion County leaves woman dead and man seriously injured

A three-vehicle crash in Marion County late Thursday afternoon left one motorist dead and another one seriously injured.

Theresa K. Benedict, 58, of Grand Island, was pronounced dead after the 5:23 p.m. crash on State Road 40 near the intersection with NE 10th Street Road. She had been driving a 2013 Ford Fusion that was caught up in the violent crash.

The incident took place when a 1999 Toyota Celica, driven by 31-year-old Christopher James Defelice, of DeLand, was traveling east and veered to the left. Defelice’s vehicle collided with a westbound 2017 Freightliner truck driven by 32-year-old Lenroy Patsfield Forbes, of Orlando. His truck then veered into the eastbound lane and slammed into the front left side of Benedict’s vehicle, a Florida Highway Patrol report states.

Patsfield received serious injuries and was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center. Defelice wasn’t injured in the crash, the FHP report says.
Everyone involved in the incident was wearing seat belts. Possible charges are pending the outcome of the accident investigation, the report says.

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