Two killed in State Route 71 crash

An early morning accident outside Wewahitchka has taken the lives of two 33-year-old men.

One of the men was from Wewahitchka the other from Naples.

According to a preliminary investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol, a 2005 Kenworth tractor and trailer was traveling south at about 5:14 a.m. on State Road 71, approaching the  intersection of Stone Mill Creek Road.

A gray 2003 Ford F150, traveling north, entered into the left turn lane for Stone Mill Creek Road, and began to make the turn, failing to observe the tractor-trailer, according to the FHP rfeport.

“The driver (of the tractor-trailer) attempted hard braking and began to steer to the right in an attempt to avoid a collision,” read the report.

After the tractor-trailer’s front collided with the truck’s right, passenger side, both vehicles continued traveling in a southwesterly  direction to the shoulder of the roadway. The truck overturned, ejecting the passenger and  partially ejecting the driver.   

The driver of the tractor-trailer, a  60-year-old man from Bristol, was uninjured. He had been wearing his seatbelt, according to the report, while neither of the two other men were.

The southbound lane of State Road 71 were closed for two hours. About  100 gallons  of diesel fuel spilled out at the scene.

The Gulf County EMS, and both the Gulf County and Wewahitchka fire departments assisted at the scene.

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper NonDoc.com during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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