Two Killed in Five-Vehicle Accident on Route 70 in DeSoto County, FL
DeSoto County, FL — October 13, 2022, two men died in a five-vehicle accident on State Route 70 in DeSoto County.
Authorities say the incident happened around 4:10 p.m. along Route 70 near North West Florida Avenue. Preliminary investigation suggests a Palm Beach man was eastbound in an SUV when he reportedly tried to pass another vehicle by crossing into the westbound lane. While in the oncoming lane the SUV's front-left quarter struck a westbound vehicle; the impact pushed that SUV backward into a semi-truck traveling west behind it. A pickup truck behind the semi was unable to stop and hit its left-rear quarter.
The eastbound SUV's 68-year-old driver and the westbound SUV's 72-year-old driver died of injuries sustained in the crash. No other injuries were reported.
The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.
Commentary on Five-Vehicle Accident on FL-70 in DeSoto County
Police seem to think this accident was triggered by an ill-timed pass attempt. I have no particular reason to question that, but decades in this field have taught me to take preliminary reports with a grain or two of salt as more of the specifics are uncovered. What if there's something else to this beyond an unfortunate traffic maneuver?
I'm not saying things have to be more complicated than that, but a full investigation should account for other possible factors as well. If the eastbound SUV had a mechanical failure or it went off-course after hitting a bad patch of road, the result might look the same as if the driver really did cross over to pass; however, they would mean the wreck was out of the victim's hands. Will police be thorough enough to consider those possibilities as well, or is this another incident where independent experts would have a better chance of connecting the dots?