SORRENTO, Fla. - Authorities have released the names on Thursday of the three people killed in a Lake County accident that resulted in a Ford Mustang almost being split in half on Wednesday night.
Troopers said Ronald Horton, 44, of Illinois, was the driver of the Mustang. Passenger Michael Sievert, 36, and Drew Bannister, 28, both of Illinois, also died in the crash.
Troopers spent nearly six hours reconstructing the accident on Wekiva River Road near State Road 46 in Sorrento.
Authorities said speeding was likely a factor in the deadly accident.
People living nearby told Local 6 they have warned officers for years about speeders on the road and have asked for help to crack down on careless drivers.
"I could go my whole life without ever having to see that again," said Chris, a nearby resident who came upon the scene and asked that we not use his full name.
Chris lives just feet from the scene and said he has written a stack of letters to the Lake County sheriff, asking for help to crack down on speeders.
"I'm sure they've done what they can, but obviously it wasn't enough. I'm sure you could ask those people's families if they did enough and they would say no," said Chris.
Troopers said the men were in a white convertible Mustang with the top down around 5:30 p.m. They were headed north toward State Road 46 and were likely speeding when Horton lost control and swerved into the path of a pickup.
The pickup driver, Kevin Murphy, 37, of Sanford, was towing a boat and on his way to go fishing. His truck T-boned the Mustang and came to a stop on top of the open convertible, authorities said.
For two hours, traffic was backed up over a mile.
For nearby residents, it's another tragic reminder of how dangerous the stretch of road can be.
"My children can't play in the front yard, we've had speeders slide through this fence and through the front yard," said Chris. "We moved out to the country to be able to play in the yard, not to have to hide in the backyard.
Troopers said all three men in the Mustang were not wearing a seat belt. They and their Golden Retriever were killed instantly.
Murphy was wearing a seat belt and was not injured, authorities said.
Friends of the victims told Local 6 the men had been staying at the KOA campground near Wekiva Falls Resort for the past couple of months.
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