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Man dead, 4 people hurt in crash that closed down southbound Florida's Turnpike in Fort Pierce

Vehicle traveling in northbound lane has tire malfunction, goes into opposite lanes
Turnpike southbound on May 1 in Fort Pierce.jpg
Posted at 1:31 PM, May 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-02 16:11:08-04

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — A 56-year-old man died and four other people were injured in a four-vehicle crash on Florida's Turnpike in Fort Pierce that closed all southbound lanes for several hours Monday night, Florida Highway Patrol said Tuesday.

At approximately 7:33 p.m., a vehicle driven by a 40-year-old woman with an 83-year-old passenger, both of Royal Palm Beach, was traveling north approaching mile marker 161 in the left lane, according to FHP. Three other vehicles were all traveling south approaching the mile marker.

The first vehicle appeared to have suffered a tire malfunction, causing the vehicle to exit its lane and enter the grass median. It traveled across the median where the front collided with the median guardrail, subsequently causing it to become airborne.

As the vehicle entered the southbound lane, it began to rotate counter-clockwise and overturn.

It collided with the front of the second vehicle, driven by a 44-year-old Orlando man, causing the first vehicle to become airborne once more and collided with the front of the third vehicle, driven by the 57-year-old man of Lakeland. The first vehicle then entered the southbound inside lane where it was sideswiped by the tractor trailer of the fourth vehicle, driven by a 33-year-old Margate man.

The third vehicle's driver was pronounced dead at the scene. Occupants in the first and second vehicles were transported to HCA Lawnwood Florida Hospital.

The driver of the fourth vehicle suffered minor injuries.