One killed in Groveland crash involving tractor-trailer

GROVELAND, Fla. — A fatal crash at U.S. 27 and Independence Boulevard Monday shut down the road shut down the road for several hours.

"All of a sudden, I heard 'Boom!' And I saw that one vehicle slide up under that semitruck, and after that it was just, 'Boom, boom, boom!'" a witness at the scene told Channel 9.  %



The crash in Groveland involved a tractor–trailer, two pickup trucks, and two cars, authorities said.

The Florida Highway Patrol said the tractor-trailer, which was hauling food supplies, was at a stop sign facing east on Independence Boulevard, while four other vehicles were traveling south on U.S. 27.

The tractor-trailer driver tried to make a left turn north onto U.S. 27 and turned into the path of one of the pickups, troopers said.

A pickup driven by Kevin Cottle, 21, of Leesburg hit the side of the tractor-trailer and drove underneath it.

The remaining three vehicles then crashed into the tractor-trailer, FHP said.

“We do believe that fog played an issue of visibility for these drivers,” FHP Sgt. Kim Montes said.

FHP said Cottle died at the scene.

“It was the weather's fault, but we can't do anything about the weather. But they do need to put some lights up here because this is a bad intersection. Hopefully, they'll get the message across," the witness said.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, Tyrone Ivy, 43, of Orlando was not injured.

Terry Fletcher, 62, of Lady Lake and Shannon Hennessy, 26, of Leesburg, were hospitalized with serious injuries.

Lawrence Weimer, 28, of Orlando, and Justin Watson, 31, of Fruitland Park, were hospitalized with minor injuries, FHP said.

FHP said the crash remains under investigation and charges are pending.

A Lake County deputy's patrol car that was on the way to the crash was involved in a separate wreck.

The deputy was not injured.