2 dead, 6 injured in 6-vehicle Panhandle crash
Published: Friday, June 14, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 14, 2013 at 11:29 a.m.
MARY ESTHER — Two people died and six others were injured in a crash near Hurlburt Field in the Florida Panhandle.
The multi-vehicle crash happened Thursday near the main gate of the U.S. Air Force installation. The westbound lanes of U.S. Highway 98 were closed for almost five hours as the Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash.
The FHP reports Kurt Graetzer, 66, and Pamela Graetzer, 63, were killed in the crash. They were stuck in traffic about 1:25 p.m. Thursday when a box truck driven by Devin Endersen of Pensacola hit them from behind.
Troopers say the Graetzers were wearing seat belts.
Troopers say the impact sent the Graetzers' Honda Element into a truck driven by Steven Williams. Williams' truck rotated counterclockwise and hit a car driven by James Calbert Jr. Calbert's vehicle then struck a truck driven by Clifford Holmes.
The Northwest Florida Daily News (http://bit.ly/177WERS ) reports the box truck continued after hitting the Graetzers' car and hit vehicles driven by Williams and Calbert.
Capt. Joey Boudreaux of the Mary Esther Fire Department says five victims were taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Another received minor injuries and didn't require a trip to the hospital.
The crash caused an estimated $36,000 in damages to the vehicles involved.
FHP is investigating and further charges are pending.