1 dead in 4-vehicle crash on County Road 44 in Leesburg

Eustis man killed, DeLand woman injured in wreck near Silver Lake Road

File photo of Florida Highway Patrol cruiser (WJXT 2020)

LEESBURG, Fla. – A 42-year-old Eustis man was killed Monday morning in a four-vehicle crash in Lake County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The fatal wreck happened at 7:14 a.m. on County Road 44 near North Silver Lake Road in Leesburg.

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The FHP said the crash involved a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado, a 2004 Toyota Corolla, a 2021 semitrailer and a 2015 Mitsubishi Mirage.

According to FHP, the Silverado was driving south on County Road 44 north of North Silver Lake Road and failed to stop for a Toyota Corolla in front of him that was attempting to make a left turn.

As a result, the Silverado rear-ended the Toyota — which was driven by the 42-year-old — and pushed the car into the northbound lanes of County Road 44 and into the direct path of a semitruck with a trailer, troopers said.

This collision caused the front of the semitruck to strike the right side of the Corolla, causing the car to rotate and reenter the southbound lanes of County Road 44, the crash report shows.

The Corolla’s front left then struck the front left of a Mitsubishi Mirage driving south on County Road 44 behind the Silverado, FHP said.

The driver of the Toyota Corolla was pronounced dead at the scene, troopers said.

The Mitsubishi driver, a 23-year-old DeLand woman, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, the FHP said.

The Silverado driver, a 36-year-old Eustis man and and the semi driver, a 69-year-old Avon Park man, were not taken to hospitals and remained at the scene, the FHP said.

The driver of the Silverado, 36-year-old Gustavo Martinez Cortez, was arrested for not having a driver’s license and booked into the Lake County Jail.

No other details have been released.

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About the Authors:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on ClickOrlando.com, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.

Jacob joined ClickOrlando.com in 2022. He spent 19 years at the Orlando Sentinel, mostly as a photojournalist and video journalist, before joining Spectrum News 13 as a web editor and digital journalist in 2021.