DeLand man dies after I-75 crash

A firefighter with Marion County Fire Rescue walks past the scene of an accident Friday after working to revive the 29 year-old man who was in full cardiac arrest involved in the crash on I-75 near Micanopy. The man, 29-year-old DeLand resident Michael James Himes, died a few hours later.

BRUCE ACKERMAN/Ocala Star-Banner
Published: Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, December 1, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

MICANOPY - A 29-year-old DeLand man died Friday, hours after a single-car accident on Interstate 75.

At about 6:45 a.m., Michael James Himes, the driver of a 1996 Ford Taurus station wagon, went off the northbound lanes and into a ditch. The car rolled over and struck a tree north of County Road 318 near mile marker 373, according to a Florida Highway Patrol official on scene.

A Marion County Fire Rescue crew extricated the driver from the car, which had flipped onto its side.

Himes was taken by ambulance to Shands at the University of Florida. He was pronounced dead at the hospital around 10 a.m., FHP Sgt. Chris Miller said.

A witness told FHP the car was being operated recklessly in the moments leading up to the crash. The driver switched lanes, lost control and struck the guardrail.

It went from the westbound paved shoulder, across all three lanes, into the ditch on the east side of the highway and then hit the tree, the witness told FHP.

When the crews first arrived, they stabilized the vehicle using 15-20 blocks of wood and a picket system involving ropes fastened to the ground.

Then they used a procedure called "tunneling" - cutting and spreading the metal parts of the car - to reach Himes though the passenger side.

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