Saturday, June 15, 2013

One Dead On Rural Road As Jeep Overturns

Missing Vehicle Sought By Investigators

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- A 4:58 a.m. crash Saturday morning took the life of an unidentified male on a rural Glades county, Florida road next to Lake Okeechobee.

A 2008 Jeep Patriot was traveling south on SR 78 east near Banana near Banana Grove Road, while a 2003 Chevy Suburban was traveling north on SR 78 E. For unknown reason, the Jeep crossed the center lane divider causing it's left front to strike the left front of the Suburban in the northbound lane.

FHP Trooper Y.D. Yale indicates the driver of the Jeep (name withheld pending next-of-kin notification) may have been attempting to pass other traffic witnessed in the area, described as a white automobile and/or a white pick-up towing a boat trailer.

The Jeep rotated counterclockwise while traveling southwest, struck a concrete barrier wall with its front end and overturned before coming to final rest in the southbound lane on its roof, facing
south. The driver was not wearing a seatbelt.

The Suburban, driven by Alejandro Sanchez Ruiz, 20 of Okeechobee, rotated counter-clockwise, struck a concrete wall and guardrail with its left rear before coming to final rest in the northbound lane upright and facing southwest. Ruiz had minor injuries and was transported to St. Mary's Hospital.

Evidence at the scene indicated that the unknown third vehicle had been traveling south on SR 78 E and collided with debris in the roadway, causing it to become disabled; however, it departed the scene prior to the arrival of emergency responders.

Five passengers from Okeechobee were traveling in the third vehicle, two sustained minor injuries. All five were wearing seatbelts.

The FHP requests that anybody having information related to this traffic crash contact Corporal J. Rongish at 239-344-1730 ex. 1192 or Crime-Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS.

Charges are pending further investigation.

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