A tractor-trailer collided with a Ford Mustang Thursday morning on Waldo Road, killing the Mustang driver on impact.
The crash, which resulted in minor injuries for the tractor-trailer driver, happened about halfway between the cities of Gainesville and Waldo north of Northeast 90th Street.
The Mustang was traveling northbound on Waldo Road while the tractor-trailer was headed in the left lane southbound, Florida Highway Patrol Cpl. Matthew Simmons told WUFT.
The Mustang tried to make a U-turn through the center median about 7:30 a.m. to head southbound, Simmons said. In doing so, the driver, whose name wasn’t immediately available, lost control of the car, sending it spinning. The front of the tractor-trailer then hit the driver-side door of the Mustang.
Traffic was diverted from southbound lanes into the northbound ones most of the morning as Alachua County Sherriff’s Office deputies assisted Florida Highway Patrol in the cleanup. All lanes had reopened by the afternoon.
Craig Lee, a web administrator at University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications, said he passed the wreck shortly after it happened on his way to work.
“There was smoke coming from the distance,” said Lee, who waited in traffic for about 15 minutes. “It was kind of shocking how badly crushed that Mustang was. When I saw that, I thought it was probably fatal.”
Simmons said criminal charges are a possibility.
“They’re all bad,” Simmons, a traffic homicide officer, said about highway collisions. “It happens all the time. I can’t put one in front of the other.”
Update, 2:07 p.m.: All Waldo Road lanes have been cleared following this morning’s wreck, according to the Florida Department of Highway Motor Safety.
WUFT will be providing a full report later today.
Update, 1:22 p.m.: The person who died in this morning’s wreck was killed upon impact, police confirmed to WUFT. The person was driving a Ford Mustang.
The driver of the other vehicle, a tractor-trailer, had minor injuries.
Update, 12:52 p.m.: Waldo Road north of Northeast 90th Street still remains partially closed following this morning’s fatal wreck, though traffic is running smoothly for the most part.
“I am not sure when it will be open completely,” Florida Highway Patrol Cpl. Matthew Simmons wrote to WUFT in an email. “At this time, we have one lane open both north- and southbound.”
Update, 11:03 a.m.: Police expect Waldo Road to be completely cleared about noon.
Update, 10:49 a.m.: Westbound traffic on Waldo Road is still being redirected briefly onto the eastbound side as responders continue to clear debris from the wreck.
Original report: One person died in an accident this morning on Waldo Road north of Northeast 90th Street, according to the Florida Department of Highway Motor Safety.
Officers were dispatched at 7:35 a.m. and arrived at 8 a.m.
Traffic is being redirected until the accident is cleared, according to the department.
WUFT will provide updates as they become available.
WUFT News reporters Megan Kearney and Bradley Norman contributed to this report.