SUV strikes parked semi, seriously injuring Mayo man

Published: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 3:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 17, 2012 at 3:35 p.m.

A SUV collided Friday afternoon with a semi-truck parked on the shoulder of State Road 51 in Lafayette County, resulting in serious injuries to the SUV’s driver.

Mayo resident Kenneth Hewett, 63, was driving around 3:50 p.m. Friday south of Mayo on SR 51 in a Ford SUV. Praxedes Lopez, 49, parked a semi-truck pulling an empty log trailer on the west shoulder of SR 51 because the truck was malfunctioning.

Florida Highway Patrol said the truck’s trailer was estimated to be 20 inches over the solid white line that designates the shoulder.

Hewett said he was unable to see the trailer because the sun’s glare obstructed his vision. Hewett struck the left rear of the truck’s trailer, causing his car to spin and land on its left side. The vehicle stopped in the northbound lane, lying on its right side.

Hewett sustained serious injuries from the crash and was taken to Shands at the University of Florida. His vehicle received an estimated $8,000 in damage.

Lopez, who is from O’brien, was not injured. His truck sustained $10,000 in damage. Lopez will face charges of improper parking, troopers said.

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