2 dead when Mercedes slams into car on Orange Blossom Trail
Deputies detain driver; OBT closed near Central Florida Parkway
ORLANDO, Fla. – Two men were killed and a woman was injured early Friday when a Mercedes rammed their car on Orange Blossom Trail in Orange County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The crash was reported around 3 a.m. on Orange Blossom Trail between Central Florida Parkway and Taft Vineland Road, south of Orlando. OBT was closed in the area, but the road was later reopened.
FHP spokeswoman Kim Montes said Michael Plattner, 33, of Kissimmee was speeding down OBT in a 2007 Mercedes SUV when it crashed into the back of a 2013 Toyota Camry near Taft Vineland Road.
Investigators said the driver of the Camry was making a U-turn and heading south on OBT when the crash happened.
The FHP said the Camry ran off the road and crashed into a pole.
"That SUV then overturned one time, coming right up on its wheels," Montes said.
Troopers said they suspect Plattner was impaired.
Plattner ran away after the crash but was located by an Orange County sheriff's K-9, according to Montes. He was detained and charges are pending against him, officials said.
"Clearly leaving the scene of a crash, even on foot, whether you're at fault or not, is a first-degree felony," Montes said.
Montes said if convicted, Plattner could face at least four years in prison and up to 30 years in prison. She said additional traffic charges are pending the outcome of a blood test.
Montes said a nearby car dealership surveillance system captured the crash on camera and showed Plattner leaving the scene. She said it is critical to their investigation.
"We're relying more and more on surveillance video to help put the pieces of the puzzle," she said.
Troopers towed the damaged SUV to FHP headquarters, where it will be processed for evidence.
Montes said Plattner has at least 17 traffic citations since 2015, ranging from driving without a license to careless driving. Montes said his license had been suspended for 30 days in 2014 for getting 12 points within 12 months but he had a valid license at the time of this crash.
A passenger in the Mercedes, a 28-year-old Kissimmee woman, was taken to Osceola Regional Hospital with serious injuries, according to the FHP.
The driver of the Camry, Alexander Francois, 28, of Kissimmee, and Hansel Mendez Catano, 36, of Kissimmee, were killed in the crash, the FHP said. A woman in the Camry was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center in critical condition, according to troopers.
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