By BRUCE COLLIER
The South Walton Fire District (SWFD) responded to an early morning single-vehicle accident at 6067 U.S. 98, Santa Rosa Beach, that left two motorists dead, one on the scene and one at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola. The accident occurred at around 12:39 a.m. on March 2.
Reports from SWFD and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) stated that the vehicle, a pickup truck with two passengers, apparently failed to stop at the stop sign at the intersection of East Hewitt Road and U.S. 98. The vehicle traveled across all four lanes of U.S. 98, entered the south shoulder, struck an embankment, and overturned on its roof in a ditch on the south side of U.S. 98. The SWFD extricated the occupants from the vehicle using hydraulic rescue equipment.
The driver, Katherine Leigh Carter, 43, of Santa Rosa Beach, was pronounced dead on the scene. The passenger, Cecil Armond Carter, 49, also of Santa Rosa Beach, was transported to Sacred Heart in critical condition. He died at approximately 5:32 a.m.
The accident is currently under investigation by the FHP. It is not known as yet whether alcohol was a factor. Seatbelts were reportedly not in use.
A second vehicular accident on March 2 in south Walton County has left one person dead and another hospitalized. The accident occurred at 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of U.S. 98 and Geronimo Street.
A report from Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) investigator Tpr. D.H. Griffith states that a vehicle was traveling south from Geronimo Street onto U.S. 98. The driver was Holly Amber Blane, 36, of Westville. A second vehicle was traveling westbound on U.S. 98 in the left lane. In that vehicle were Il H. Lee, 45, and Young S. Kwon, addresses unknown.
Blane’s vehicle reportedly traveled directly into the path of the second vehicle, striking its right side. The second vehicle rotated several times, ejecting Lee and Kwon. Lee was fatally injured, and Kwon was transported to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola, where he has been listed in fair condition. Blane was not injured.
The accident is under investigation, and charges are reportedly pending. Alcohol was not a factor. Blane was reportedly the only person involved who was wearing a seatbelt.