The Florida Highway Patrol tells FOX10 News three people have died in a major crash on U.S. 98, or the Lillian Highway, on the Florida side of the Perdido Bay Bridge.
The accident, which involved a large truck and a passenger car, has caused U.S. Highway 98 to be closed Thursday morning. The FHP says the truck caught fire.
The FHP has released the names of the deceased. They are:
- Russell Joseph Drummond, 19, of Elberta, Ala.
- Christian Coleton Beech, 19, of Lillian, Ala.
- Sheldon Ray Liddell, 48, of Pensacola, Fla.
Liddell was the driver of the truck. Drummond was the driver of the car, and Beech was a passenger in the car.
The Baldwin County Sheriff's Office on the Alabama side reported a large amount of fuel spilled onto the roadway in Florida as a result of the wreck.
Fire crews say it will be several hours until the roadway is reopened, the Sheriff's Office reports.
According to FHP Lt. Robert Cannon, the wreck happened at about 5 a.m. and involved a large Peterbilt truck and a Chevrolet Impala.
The truck was carrying a load of lumber, which was spilled onto the highway and also needs to be cleared, Cannon said.
He said the FHP has a homicide investigation team on site gathering evidence. Cannon said just before 8 a.m. that the bridge will be closed for several more hours until all the evidence can be collected.
FHP encourages motorists to be patient and to seek alternate routes.
Just before 11 a.m., the FHP sent out the following news release:
On October 10, 2019, a Blue Chevrolet Impala was traveling east on US 98 (Lillian Highway) crossing the bridge from Alabama into Florida. A Peterbilt flatbed truck was traveling west on Lillian Highway approaching the bridge loaded with lumber. As the Impala crossed the bridge, the vehicle crossed the center line into the westbound lane which was occupied by the Peterbilt. The front of the Impala collided with the front of the Peterbilt. Due to the impact, the Peterbilt caught fire and continued west on the bridge, coming to final rest on the right shoulder of the bridge. The load being carried by the Peterbilt fell from the flatbed onto the roadway, blocking both lanes of travel. The driver of the Peterbilt was expired at the scene. The Impala rotated in a counterclockwise direction and came to final rest facing south on the shoulder of the roadway against the guardrail. The driver and passenger of the Impala were both ejected. The occupants of the Impala were both expired at the scene as well.