Two die in head-on crash on I-75

Paramedics survey the scene after this Ford Expedition SUV was hit head-on by a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction on Interstate 75 in Hamilton County.

Published: Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 6:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 5, 2014 at 6:13 p.m.

A High Springs man was one of two people killed in Hamilton County late Friday night when he drove southbound on northbound Interstate 75, slamming head-on into one northbound SUV and setting off a series of accidents that included a Greyhound bus, reported the Florida Highway Patrol.

Dead is Ernest Lee Holmes, 91, of High Springs. Also killed was Peter J. Linek, 55, of Ormond Beach, FHP reported in a press release.

The accident happened about 11:44 p.m. on I-75 near U.S. 129 and involved five vehicles.

Holmes was driving a 1993 Buick Century southbound in the inside lane of northbound I-75. Linek was driving a 2013 Ford Expedition northbound in the inside lane. The two collided head-on, FHP reported.

Three other northbound vehicles, including the Greyhound bus, were involved in secondary accidents trying to avoid the collision of Holmes and Linek.

The bus had 42 passengers and had begun its route in Tampa, making a stop in Gainesville before the crash.

FHP reported that 13 people were taken to area hospitals for minor injuries.

It had not been determined by Saturday if alcohol was a factor in the initial head-on crash. It was not suspected to be a factor with the other drivers, none of whom are from Florida, but they consented to having blood drawn at the scene, FHP reported.

Neither Holmes nor Linek had passengers in their cars.

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