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Victims identified in head-on collision in Baker County

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Updated: 11/13/2013 8:56 pm
BAKER COUNTY, Fla. -- A portion of U.S. 90 was closed for hours after a deadly head-on collision in Baker County.

The Florida Highway Patrol says four people died in the crash.

The aftermath of the horrific two-vehicle crash left a mangled mess for investigators just west of Interstate 10 headed toward Columbia County.

"This is probably the worst vehicle crash that I have personally been on here in Baker County," said Baker County Fire Chief Steven Marfongella.

Action News has learned the crash happened about 9 a.m. Monday.

According to FHP, two vehicles were traveling in the opposite direction on U.S. 90 when a Toyota Camry crossed the center line and crashed into a Ford Expedition. 

The SUV flipped on impact and caught on fire.

"When the vehicles impact, the amount of kinetic energy is horrific, it's unbelievable," said Marfongella. "It could lead to all kinds of leaking fuels. All it takes is a spark to ignite."

The Camry driver Jose David Mendez-Pineda, 36, of Jacksonville and passenger Maria Gomez Perez, 31, of Jacksonville were killed. The driver of the SUV, Vivian Leland, 55, of Lake City, managed to escape from the burning vehicle with the help of paramedics and was flown to UF Health Gainesville. THe SUV passengers, Eloise Davis Foster, 68, and Ceda May Prester, 85, both of Lake City, died. 

"After exiting the vehicle, at the time the vehicle was on fire, she was also on fire," said Sgt. Dylan Bryan with the Florida Highway Patrol.

An 8-mile stretch of U.S. 90 was closed for most of the afternoon.

According to FHP, 51 crashes have occurred in the area over the past three years, including three fatal crashes.

"Any road has its inherent dangers," said Dylan. "However, I know with the amount of crashes that have occurred and that time frame it's warranted a look not only by FHP but also the Florida Department of Transportation."

According to Dylan, two people died in July when a UPS truck getting off I-10 tried to cross U.S. 90 and collided with another vehicle.
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Truthseeker - 11/12/2013 11:20 AM
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Torched??? It wasn't an intentional act. Once again, the incorrect use of a term. There are on-line ENGLISH dictionaries available.
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