2 killed in 7-vehicle crash on turnpike in Lake County

Officials close northbound lanes of road

By Dawn Jorgenson - Web - News Editor , Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager

HOWEY IN-THE-HILLS, Fla. - Two people were killed Sunday in a seven-vehicle crash on the Florida Turnpike in Lake County, the Florida Highway Patrol said. 

The crash was reported in the northbound lanes of the turnpike at mile marker 290 near Howey-in-the-Hills.

Troopers said the driver of a Dodge pickup truck, 32-year-old Bilal Ead, failed to stop for traffic, which caused him to rear end a Hyundai Sonata.

Valentina Martinez, 20, and Antonio Mesa, 19, who were in the Sonata that was struck from behind by another vehicle, were declared dead at the scene, the FHP said.

The impact caused the Sonata to hit the back of a Dodge SUV that was in front of it.The chain reaction continued, causing a seven-car pile up. The driver of a pickup truck, which was the last to be hit, left the scene, troopers said.

Of 10 people involved, two were killed, three suffered serious injuries, four suffered minor injuries and one left the scene without being examined, according to a news release.

The FHP initially said that four people died in the crash and 17 people were injured.

The crash prompted officials to close northbound lanes of the turnpike.

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