Wrong-way driver forces deputy off road, causes fatal head-on crash in Hernando County

Posted at 5:01 AM, Jul 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-04 11:07:57-04

RIDGE MANOR, Fla. (AP) -- A wrong-way driver ran a Florida sheriff's deputy off the road minutes before crashing head-on into another vehicle.

Hernando County Sheriff's officials said in a news release that both drivers died in the crash early Tuesday morning north of Tampa.

The deputy was on patrol around 1 a.m. Tuesday when the vehicle drove toward the deputy's vehicle, which was heading eastbound on Cortez Boulevard.

A truck that was traveling in front of him had to swerve off the road to avoid a collision.

The deputy turned around and radioed for assistance from a nearby deputy. But the wrong-way vehicle collided head-on with another vehicle a short distance away.

The sheriff's office hasn't released the identities of the victims. The deputy wasn't injured.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating.

The drivers of both vehicles died at the scene of the crash. Their identities are not being released at this time. 

The deputy involved in the first encounter with the wrong way driver was not injured. 

Cortez Boulevard is closed from McKethan Road to Westwood Drive while the Florida Highway Patrol investigates the crash. 

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