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Monday, January 16, 2023

Ocala man dies in Florida Turnpike crash after striking and killing tow truck operator

An Ocala man died Friday night in a crash on the Florida Turnpike after his pickup struck and killed a tow truck operator working on the side of the road.

The 51-year-old Ocala man had been traveling at 10 p.m. on the turnpike near Mile Marker 281 in Lake County when his vehicle traveled off the roadway and hit a tow truck from The Car Store, according to an accident report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

The tow truck operator had stopped to assist a disabled vehicle and was parked on the right shoulder with his emergency lights activated. The tow truck driver, identified as a 34-year-old Orlando man, died at the scene of the crash. He had been out of his truck when he was hit by the pickup driven by the Ocala man, who also died at the scene of the crash after hitting the tow truck operator and his truck.

A juvenile female passenger riding with the Ocala man was critically injured. She was transported to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital in Orlando.

The crash remains under investigation.