By BRUCE COLLIER
Two vehicular crashes have left two people dead and two seriously injured. Both took place in Walton County, on Nov. 7 and Nov. 9.
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) investigator Tpr. Chester Jackson reported that on the evening of Nov. 7, a vehicle was driving west on the inside lane of I-10, at the 77 mile post. The driver and sole passenger’s name has not been released pending notification of next-of-kin, but the FHP report described him as a 61 year-old male from Graford, Texas. Traveling east on the same road were driver David M. Morneault, 30, of Destin, and passenger Alicia Osborne, age not given, of Crestview.
The report states that, “for unknown reasons,” the westbound vehicle traveled onto the grass median and began to rotate counterclockwise, 180 degrees. The vehicle traveled backwards, moved into the eastbound lane and into the path of the second vehicle. Morneault attempted to steer clear, but the first vehicle struck the left front side of the second. The first vehicle continued to travel east, coming to a stop in the outside lane of I-10, facing northwest. The second vehicle came to a stop on the paved shoulder of the south side of eastbound I-10.
The driver of the first vehicle was killed. Both Morneault and Osborne were were taken to North Okaloosa Medical Center with serious injuries. Both were reportedly wearing seatbelts, and alcohol was not a factor.
The report does not state whether the deceased driver was wearing a seatbelt, and an investigation is pending as to whether alcohol may have been a factor.
The second fatal accident took place early on the morning of Nov. 9, on U.S. 90 at Lancelot Road. A single driver, Rafeal T. Darnell, 21, of Crestview, was traveling west on U.S. 90. For an “unknown reason,” he went off the paved road onto the north shoulder. His vehicle rotated clockwise and struck an oak tree. Darnell was pronounced dead at the scene. The FHP report, prepared by Tpr. T. Hulion, states that Darnell was wearing a seatbelt, and that an investigation is pending as to whether alcohol was a factor.