I-75 Accident Takes One More Life, Total Of Three
MARION COUNTY - A third person has passed away as a result of the tragic crash on I-75 southbound in Marion County Saturday afternoon. The crash, which happened near the Dunnellon Belleview exit, took the lives of a florida highway patrol trooper, a tow truck driver and now the life of a pedestrian. Due to the number of cars involved, it could take weeks to figure out exactly what happened.
The flag at the Florida Highway Patrol station in marion county flies half staff. "Every single day is precious. It shouldn't be wasted. A positive attitude and a smile goes a long way-- and that was trooper richard," FHP Sergeant Tracy Hisler-Pace said.
FHP, along with family and friends, mourn the loss of three people-- FHP trooper Chelsea Richard, tow truck driver john duggan and bystander George Phillips. Richard and Duggan were working a car crash on I-75 near mile marker 341, going Southbound.
According to a teacher at Trinity Catholic High School-- Phillips was the father of one of the passengers in the original accident. Both the driver and passenger are students at Trinity Catholic.
Corporal David Brierton with FHP said, "We extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of trooper richard, mr. John duggan, mr. George Phillips and everyone involved. Please keep everyone's families in your thoughts and prayers."
Phillips was helping his daughter's friend-- when a multiple car pile-up occurred. A pickup truck traveled into the east shoulder were trooper richard, duggan and phillips were standing. Phillips passed away saturday night several hours after being transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center in critical condition.
FHP has these flowers outside of their station to remember the lives lost during this tragic accident. Richard is the first trooper of 2014 and the second female within FHP to ever be killed in the line of duty. Richard was with fhp for 10 years and leaves behind a 4-year-old son.
"His mother loved him more than anything in this world. She adored him, she worked very hard for him. And she will always be with him," Sgt. Hisler-Pace said.
Charges are pending as the investigation is ongoing. "We are human, we are mothers, we are fathers, we are sisters, we are brothers, were grandmothers and were grandfathers. And we are out here to keep people safe while everybody doesn't feel that way. That is our goal. Courtesy service protection," said, Sgt. Hisler-Pace.
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