Two separate single-car accidents on Interstate 75 in Marion County killed two Wednesday and severely injured two others.
A fifth person involved, one of the drivers who fell asleep, received minor injuries.
In the first accident, a white Jeep Renegade carrying a father and two sons was traveling south on I-75 about 6:25 a.m. when one of the sons, Michael Carlson, 45, fell asleep while driving, according to a news release from Florida Highway Patrol.
The Jeep then veered off the roadway, struck several trees, rotated 180 degrees and overturned, landing on its roof.
The father, Lynn Carlson, 89, was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center in serious condition and later died, the release said. The other son, Mark Carlson, 46, was taken by ambulance to the same hospital in serious condition.
Michael Carlson received minor injuries.
Later, at 7:45 a.m., a white Ford Explorer was traveling north on I-75 when it lost control for unknown reasons and veered across the three northbound travel lanes, according to a separate Florida Highway Patrol news release. It then struck the center guardrail with its front bumper, overturned and ejected the passenger, killing him. His name hasn’t yet been released.
A small dog was also killed.
The driver, Amanda Welch, 26, wasn’t ejected and was able to get out with help from a passerby. She was airlifted to Ocala Regional Medical Center in stable but serious condition.