This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
A woman has been lifeflighted to an area hospital after an auto accident this morning on State Road 100 and Caraway Church Road in Putnam County. Florida Highway Patrol is working the wreck that happened around 7 a.m. The roadway is open.
For the second year in a row, the same Switzerland Point Middle School student has won the annual St. Johns County School District Spelling Bee. Sixth grader Manischa Wijayawardhana spelled the word “ascension” to win in the 12th round. Coming in second was her sister Himaschi, who is a fifth grader at Timberlin Creek Elementary.
Florida Highway Patrol say charges are pending in a wreck Wednesday morning that left one individual dead and two others injured near Putnam Hall. According to reports a 1999 Saturn driven by Kyle Hutson Bradley, 27, of Palatka, was eastbound on State Road 100 near Belle Road when the vehicle crossed a double yellow line into the westbound lane striking the front of a 2015 Chevy pick-up driven by Richard Parnell 66, of Castleberry. Parnell received minor injuries and passenger Mary Parnell, 65, had serious injuries. They and Bradley, who had critical injuries, were taken to UF Shands in Gainesville. Name of the victim has not been released pending notification of next of kin.
In St. Johns County a 14-year-old died after his vehicle went off a bridge into Pablo Creek on private property at the Dee Dot Ranch on San Pablo Road. Units from St. Johns and Jacksonville fire rescue responded and drivers recovered the body of Cole Alexander Kelley from the submerged black Isuzu Trooper. According to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, the SUV went into the Intracoastal Waterway where there is a slight curve on the bridge. Cause of the crash is under investigation.
Sometime today drivers on State Road A1A in Flagler Beach will find a new traffic pattern in place. Northbound SR A1A traffic will shift onto the newly constructed southbound roadway between South 23rd and South 7th streets in Flagler Beach. Southbound traffic will continue to use South Central Avenue. Florida Department of Transportation projects completion time will be early 2020.
A 35-year-old Palatka man is in jail after allegedly selling crack cocaine to a Putnam County Sheriff’s Office undercover detective. Darryl Smith reportedly sold the drugs within 1,000 feet of James A. Long Elementary School and was jailed on a $17,500 bond. Sheriff’s officials say the suspect previously sold drugs to detectives and more charges are pending.
In Flagler County a 16-year-old student faces a felony charge after he and another Flagler Palm Coast High School student got into an Instagram conversation about NFL pro football that escalated to threats. Dylan Burdi was arrested for written threats to kill after he allegedly threatened to beat the victim and his parents and put a knife to the victim’s throat. He also threatened to put the victim in a grave. He’s been taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Daytona Beach.
School board members and superintendents from around the state including those from St. Johns, Flagler and Clay counties are in Tampa through Friday for the annual School Board Association convention. Putnam County School Superintendent Rick Surrency was one of five finalists for the top superintendent honors. While the Citrus County superintendent won, Surrency was saluted for the district’s improvement of the graduation rate, removal of 11 schools from the state’s turnaround list and the overall school grade improvement for the past three years.
Take a jar of jam when you go to Palatka Porchfest Saturday. The free musical event features a variety of musical styles and performers playing on porches in Palatka’s South Historic District from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The jam is for boxes earmarked for the Feed the Need backpack program which provides children in need with food after school. The jam will go nicely with the pallet of Jif peanut butter recently donated by the company to the program.