Three people died Saturday evening from injuries suffered in a three-vehicle crash on State Road 70 near the intersection of Lakewood Ranch Blvd. in Manatee County.
Merritt Hilton Duryea – who was driving the 2004 Ford pick-up truck that triggered the crash -the driver of a second vehicle and an 11-year-old male child in that vehicle were all pronounced dead at the scene.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol report Duryea, 54, was traveling west in the eastbound lanes of SR 70 just after 7 PM when the incident occurred.
The second vehicle – a 2008 Ford Expedition – driven by 63-year-old Laurence Worley, attempted to avoid hitting the truck but was unable to do so.
The vehicles collided head-on.
There were three minors in the Expedition. Two of them suffered serious injuries and were airlifted by helicopter to All Children's Hospital. Their names have not been released.
A third vehicle – a 2010 Land Cruiser – driven by 39-year-old Diane Rodgers of Manatee County, swerved off the road to avoid hitting the other two vehicles. Debris from the collision struck the Land Cruiser.
Rodgers and an eight-year-old boy in her vehicle were not hurt.
It is not yet known if Duryea was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The Myakka City resident - who FHP investigators say was responsible for the crash - was not wearing a seatbelt.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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