Eustis man killed in crash with semitruck in Volusia County

Crash happened on State Road 44 near Paradise Drive

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Eustis mas was killed in a crash involving a semitruck carrying a utility pole on State Road 44 in Volusia County on Tuesday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers said the crash happened on State Road 44 near Paradise Drive around 7:15 a.m.

According to a crash report, a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup truck was traveling eastbound on State Road 44 west of Paradise Drive.

At the same time, a semitruck with trailer, and another commercial vehicle behind the semitruck, entered the eastbound lane of State Road 44 after making a right turn from Paradise Drive.

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Troopers said the semitruck had “fully established the lane of State Road 44″ after making the turn onto Paradise Drive, ahead of the pickup truck.

The driver of the pickup truck entered the westbound lane in an attempt to pass the commercial vehicle and the semitruck at the same time, according to the FHP.

Due to oncoming traffic in the westbound lane, the pickup truck driver swerved back into the eastbound lane and failed to slow or stop for the semitruck that was ahead, troopers said.

As a result, the windshield of the pickup truck struck a utility pole that was attached to the rear of the semitruck, then struck the rear of the semitruck, according to the crash report.

The driver, identified as a 34-year-old Eustis man, was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers said the man’s three passengers—two 3-month-olds and a 5-year-old—were taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

The driver of the semitruck was not injured, according to the FHP.

Troopers said the roadblock has been cleared and the crash remains under investigation.

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Jacob joined 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.