On August 16, 2013, a trucking accident resulted in the death of a woman in Milton, Florida. The crash occurred just before 6:30 a.m. at the intersection of State Road 87 (Stewart St.) and Magnolia Street and involved three vehicles: a flatbed semi truck and trailer, an SUV, and a school bus. Luckily, the school bus was not carrying any children at the time of the accident.
According to police reports, the semi, driven by Travis A. Kelly, was traveling north when it crossed the center line for unknown reasons and struck a southbound SUV, driven by Susan Ann Hartfelder, head-on. The SUV spun counterclockwise and struck a school bus, causing minor damages to the bus, but no injuries. The semi continued off the road and crashed into a vacant building, coming to rest partially inside the building. Susan Hartfelder was pronounced dead at the scene.
Reportedly, State Road 87 was shut down for almost seven hours following the accident. The building damaged in the crash was previously Golden Treasures Crafts and Gifts, and had just undergone renovations. The owner of the building, Frank Martin, stated that he was about to lease the building and is unsure at this time if he will rebuild it.
According to several business owners located on or near the intersection, accidents are, unfortunately, not uncommon. The owners of Turn One Performance and Graphics stated that more than one accident has been caught on their surveillance cameras. Jerry Wood, the owner of Jerry’s Tire and Wheel, stated that accidents in the area are becoming more frequent and more serious. Jerry’s Tire and Wheel’s Stewart Street location has been open for over 40 years. Wood stated there was another accident at that location “just a few weeks ago. A log truck took a pole out [at] the corner of Magnolia and Stewart.”
Regardless of whether or not this can be considered a “dangerous intersection,” this does not explain why the semi driver veered over the center line. Reportedly, the semi driver was also injured in the accident and was taken to a nearby hospital. According to Milton police, the trucking accident is still under investigation and charges against the semi driver are pending.
Individuals who have lost a loved one in a tragic trucking accident like this one should contact an experienced trucking accident attorney immediately.