2 dead in wrong-way crash on State Road 408

3rd person hospitalized after Orlando crash

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two people were killed early Thursday in a fiery head-on, wrong-way crash on State Road 408 in Orlando, forcing officials to close the roadway for several hours.

The crash occurred around 3:40 a.m. on eastbound S.R. 408 near the Hiawassee Road toll plaza.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a black 2000 Hyundai Elantra driven by a man was headed westbound in the eastbound lanes of S.R. 408 and crashed into a red 2009 Toyota Corolla driven by 66-year-old Charles Penrose, of Oakland, Fla.  Both drivers were killed in the crash.

Troopers said the driver of the Elantra will be identified by dental records.

A 2001 Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Robert Lee Gendron, 47, of Clermont, was also involved in the crash, the FHP said.  He was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and later released.

Troopers said they're looking for anyone that may have seen the Elantra driving westbound in the eastbound lanes prior to the crash.

"Our first suspicion is impairment or maybe someone who is disoriented," said FHP Sgt. Kim Montes. 

Eastbound S.R. 408 was closed for about six hours at Good Homes Road.

"The reason the cleanup is taking so long is because not only do they have to tow the cars away from the scene and clean up all the debris, but they also have to clean up the oil on the road so it's not too slick for drivers," Montes said. "When this car burned, it burns the asphalt on the road."

The crash remains under investigation.

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.

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