This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.
A crash in St. Johns County Wednesday is linked to a double homicide investigation in Palm Beach County. A multi-agency request sent St. Johns County Sheriff’s deputies on a car chase along Interstate 95. When the driver refused to pull over, stop sticks were deployed and the driver ended up crashing into a median near State Road 207. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the driver apparently shot himself. He was flown to Orange Park Medical Center, where he died. His name has not been released. The suspect was wanted for questioning in the shooting death of two sisters near Lantana. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office says a domestic dispute apparently escalated and reports of screams and gunshots led to officers finding the bodies of the sisters, who were 19 and 20.
Six area deaths linked to complications of coronavirus have been reported by the Florida Department of Health over the last two days. In Putnam County, a 55-year-old man’s death was reported today. Three deaths were reported Wednesday and included a nine-year-old girl. Two hospitalized women – one 58 and the other 70 – also died from the virus. Names and locations were not released, but the family of the 70-year-old said she was a patient at Lakeshore Nursing Center in Crescent City. Total deaths from coronavirus is at 12. Mary Garcia with the state health department in Putnam County said 44 cases were reported Wednesday and 32 today for a total of 1,083. In St. Johns County, the death of a 56-year-old man was reported Wednesday, bringing the death total to 17. On Wednesday 61 were reported and 47 today for a total of 2,708. In Flagler County today the death of a 92-year-old woman in hospice was reported. Eight people have died there. On Wednesday nine cases were reported and 26 today for a total of 724.
Drivers on U.S. 17 in Palatka will find delays and detours at the railroad crossing near 11th Street. CSX crews are upgrading the crossing. Work officially began today and should continue for at least a week.
Longtime Putnam County school administrator Kelly Nash Jr. has died. Nash, 74, served as a principal at Palatka Central High School, Interlachen High School and Palatka High School before his retirement. Active in many civic organizations, he was a member of First Baptist Church of Palatka. A celebration of life drive-by memorial is this Friday from 5-8 p.m. at First Baptist on Oak Street.
Palatka City Commission is going for a record today – three video meetings in one day. The first has them sitting as the Community Redevelopment Agency beginning at 2 p.m. They’ll hear budget plans. At 3 p.m. the commission will hold a budget workshop for the city. At 6 p.m. they hold their regular board meeting. Go to the Palatka city hall Facebook site to get on.
Putnam Fire Rescue responded to a vehicle wreck Wednesday in the Putnam Hall area. The wreck was at State Road 100 and State Road 26 near the Howling Wolf Lounge. Florida Highway Patrol worked the accident.
The Palatka Fire Department Tuesday evening had back-to-back house fire calls. The first was at a Palatka Housing Authority apartment in the 1600 block of Ocean Street In Palatka. Two rooms were heavily damaged by smoke but none of the six people living there were injured, according to authorities. About an hour later firefighters were called to the 200 block of South 15th Street. Several rooms were heavily damaged by the fire but none of the eight residents were injured.
In St. Johns County, the Sheriff’s Office continues Food Truck Friday and support of an Explorer Scout who is fighting leukemia. Taylor is a member of the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Explorer Post 911 and this is the second week all proceeds made during lunchtime will go to help his family with his care. You can enjoy lunch and dessert outdoors at the Sheriff’s Office front parking lot on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wurstbusters and Kona Ice will be serving up lunch.