A head-on crash in Putnam County Wednesday left three men dead and a fourth in critical condition, according to Florida Highway Patrol. The accident happened around 12:45 p.m. on State Road 100 at Tram Road. FHP reports a semi hauling cabbage collided head on with a Sun Belt tractor-trailer on the highway that connects Flagler and Putnam counties. The three killed were in the cabbage truck. Driver of the other semi was taken to Orange Park Medical Center. The Department of Environmental Protection was called in because about 150 gallons of diesel spilled at the scene. Cause of the wreck is under investigation although at first FHP suspected a blown-out tire. Names of the victims have not been released.
Northern St. Johns County will be golf-mad for the next few days as The Players Championship takes over. More than 2,300 volunteers are helping make the tournament happen as top golfers compete for a $12.5 million purse beginning today. TPC already has had its share of excitement after a St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office helicopter made an emergency landing on the Dye’s Valley Course at TPC Sawgrass. That’s the sister track to The Players Stadium Course. The copter was flying the perimeter of TPC when a mechanical issue was spotted. The pilot, without power, guided the copter through power lines to make a safe landing. National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident. The copter was hauled off Wednesday night.
St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office turned a five-year-old boy over to state services Wednesday after a drug raid at a home on West Carter Street in St. Augustine. Six people were arrested on drug charges and two of those also were arrested on suspicion of child neglect. Those two — Randall Laughlin and Marcey Forsythe — were also wanted on suspicion of grand theft in Duval County. The house has been raided in the past for drugs.
More non-traditional lockdown drills are in the future for Putnam County students. Parents and guardians are getting letters from the Putnam County School District alerting them to expect the drills that can take at any time including lunch, class exchange or when students are arriving or leaving schools. School officials have worked with law enforcement to quote “correctly develop and implement safety procedures”.
Palatka city commission holds two meetings today. The first special called meeting at 5 p.m. is to consider candidates for the position of Palatka city manager. A couple of candidates have dropped out. The regular city commission meeting follows at 6 p.m.
In Flagler County the problem of how to deal with increasing numbers of homeless is being discussed. A meeting Wednesday with public and private sector representatives led to exchanges of information although no specific solutions. Safety concerns because of a homeless camp behind the public library in Palm Coast recently led the county to employ round-the-clock security.
Archaeologists are looking for St. Augustine’s second settlement, this one located on Anastasia Island from 1566 to 1572. Dr. Chester B. DePrater, senior research professor at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, will lead a group including former city archaeologist Carl Halbirt. DePrater helped uncover and document Santa Elena, a Spanish fort and settlement founded by Pedro Menendez, St. Augustine’s founder. It was discovered after 300 years on a portion of the golf course at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.