OKEECHOBEE - A semi-truck driver was killed early Wednesday morning after his truck was involved in a multi-vehicle collision.
Okeechobee County Fire Rescue responded to a call pertaining to a multi-vehicle crash at approximately 6:30 a.m., Jan. 29 on U.S. 441 Southeast near Southeast 126th Boulevard. Traffic was stopped in both directions on U.S. 441 for over an hour as firefighters fought to put out the fire and render first aid to the driver of a dump truck. Southeast 126th Boulevard was closed from State Road 710 to U.S. 441 from the time of the accident until about 4:30 p.m.
Okeechobee County Sheriff’s deputies worked the scene until the Florida Highway Patrol arrived, at which time they turned the accident over to them.
According to the FHP report, a dump truck, driven by Ivan Cruz, 48, of Okeechobee and a jeep, driven by Timothy James Hall, 30, of Okeechobee, were traveling southbound on U.S. 441 approaching Southeast 126th Boulevard. A semi, driven by Efram Dwanna Crawford, 49, from Pahokee was traveling northbound approaching Southeast 126th Boulevard. An unoccupied Toyota Tacoma was parked next to a trailer on the right side of the grassy area bordering the southbound lane. The jeep slowed down to make a left turn at Southeast 126th Boulevard, and the driver of the dump truck reportedly lost control of his vehicle and swerved to the left to avoid a collision but was unsuccessful. The impact between the dump truck and the semi caused the vehicles to engulf in flames.
The driver of the semi, Mr. Crawford, was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the dump truck, Mr. Cruz, had serious injuries and was transported to Raulerson Hospital. The driver of the jeep, Mr. Hall, was uninjured. The case is still pending investigation.