Woman, 73, killed in wrong-way crash on Florida Turnpike in Orange County

Car slams into semi near Beachline

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A 73-year-old woman driving a Dodge Charger was killed early Tuesday in a wrong-way, head-on crash with a big rig on the Florida Turnpike in Orange County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The FHP got a call from drivers about a person going north at full speed in the southbound turnpike lane before the fatal crash at 2:26 a.m. near State Road 528.

“Our troopers were doing everything they could to get to that vehicle and stop them prior to the crash. During their response, they were updated that the vehicle did collide with a semitruck,” FHP trooper Steve Montiero said.

The name of the woman who died in the crash has not been released.

Troopers said the Dodge Charger struck the front of the tractor-trailer, driven by a 53-year-old Winter Springs man. The big rig crashed into a guardrail and came to a stop in the grassy median, the FHP said.

Troopers could not find the victim when they first arrived on scene, according to FHP.

Montiero described the crash scene as “mass destruction.”

The big rig driver was taken to the Hunters Creek emergency department with serious injuries, the FHP said. 

The southbound lanes of the turnpike were closed in the area for about five hours, a decision that is reserved for the worst crashes, Montiero said.

"We're looking at how long is this roadway going to be closed,” Montiero said.

Alcohol tests are pending for the woman who died.

Investigators will try to recreate the incident to figure out how the woman ended up going the wrong way.

Stay with News 6 and ClickOrlando.com for updates on this developing story. 

About the Authors: