A two-vehicle crash on State Road 559 in Polk City left one man dead early Friday.
Justin Lee Pace, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene just before 4 a.m.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol report his 1999 Mitsubishi Gallant caught fire shortly after striking a 2007 Freightliner head-on. The driver of the semi, 56-year-old Carl Jeffrey Payne, suffered minor injuries. He was treated at the scene and released.
Investigators say the Gallant crossed the center line and veered directly into the path of the truck. Payne's vehicle is owned and operated by Simple Mattress Transportation out of Richmond, Virginia.
The semi wound up on the east shoulder of the roadway facing east.
Pace, a Polk City resident, was not wearing a seatbelt. It is not yet known if alcohol played a factor. The road was closed for several hours while FHP investigators spoke with witnesses and gathered evidence.
The official cause is not yet known as the investigation continues. No charges have been filed.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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