A 25-year-old driver from New York was arrested on Thursday night after one of his passengers was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 in Marion County.
At around 9 p.m. on Thursday, a sedan was traveling southbound on I-75 in the inside lane, near mile marker 358 in Marion County. An SUV was also heading southbound on I-75 in the same lane, behind the sedan, according to the Florida Highway Patrol incident report.
Due to rain, the roadway was wet at the time of the accident. FHP stated that the sedan veered to the left, crossed the paved emergency lane, and entered the grass median before striking the guardrail multiple times.
After colliding with the guardrail, the sedan traveled back onto the roadway and into the direct path of the SUV. According to the report, the front end of the SUV proceeded to crash into the left rear side of the sedan.
Both vehicles came to a final rest in the center median area of I-75.
At 9:13 p.m., Marion County Fire Rescue’s Engine #11 unit arrived on scene. Crews observed that one of the vehicles involved in the accident was on its roof and the other vehicle was in the median.
A rear passenger in the sedan, identified in the report as a man from Honduras, was pronounced deceased at the scene by MCFR paramedics.
The sedan’s driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and sustained minor injuries. The vehicle’s second passenger, identified in the report as a man from New York, was seriously injured.
The occupants of the SUV – a 58-year-old male driver, 52-year-old woman, 23-year-old woman, 18-year-old woman, 17-year-old girl, and 16-year-old boy, all from Ohio – were also injured in the crash. Their injuries were listed as “minor” in the report.
According to MCFR, two of the individuals involved in the accident were transported to a local hospital as trauma alerts.
The driver of the sedan, later identified as Amner Ordonez-Palma, was placed under arrest for the felony charge of driving without a valid driver’s license involving death.
Ordonez-Palma was transported to Marion County Jail early Friday morning, and he is currently being held on $10,000 bond. A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.
The names of the other individuals involved in the accident were not released by the Florida Highway Patrol.