CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - S.R. 31 is now open after a fatal crash shut it down for several hours. A woman was killed after investigators say she veered into the path of an oncoming semi truck, causing the truck to overturn.
S.R. 31 was closed from 2:30 p.m. about 9 p.m. Thursday night as crews cleared debris and wreckage from the road.
Mangled metal, piles of wood, upside down tires. Investigators say one wrong move cost a woman her life.
Around 2:30 p.m., Florida Highway Patrol says a female SUV driver was traveling northbound on S.R. 31. At the same time, a semi truck driver carrying wood pallets was traveling southbound.
"For unknown reasons the passenger vehicle traveled out of their lane into the path of the oncoming southbound traffic, was subsequently struck, more or less, head-on by the tractor trailer," Sgt. Gregory Potter of FHP. "The tractor trailer overturned, spilling its load."
The woman in the SUV, 56 year-old Jerianne Hamilton was killed. The driver of the semi truck was not injured.
"All we know now is that they were on the wrong side of the road," Potter said. "Why they were over there, we don't know."
Wood pallets scattered the roadway. S.R. 31 had to be shut down from Bermont Road to Arcadia. Crews worked for hours to pile the pallets onto flatbeds, and upright the semi truck. While investigators try to understand what caused the car to drift into the opposite lane, Sgt. Potter says they don't believe it was caused by speeding.
"We haven't done any speed estimates to see if speed was involved but due to the initial damage it doesn't look like speed was an issue," Potter said.
There were no other passengers in either vehicle involved in the accident.