The Voice of the Gem City

News August 1, 2022

This is Marcia Lane, your roving reporter.

A crash on Interstate 95 in St. Johns County Sunday seriously injured a 3-month-old girl and an 18-year-old male. Florida Highway Patrol reports the accident happened around 11:30 a.m. when a Nissan Pathfinder stopped on the median and then pulled out heading south near Mile Marker 303. As the Pathfinder started to merge, a Toyota Tacoma headed in the same direction approached. The 17-year-old female driving slowed and swerved to avoid hitting the pick-up truck. However, the truck stuck the back of the SUV which flipped across the highway landing on its roof on the opposite shoulder, FHP reports. One passenger in the SUV was ejected. The 18-year-old was not wearing a seat belt and the baby wasn’t in a child restraint device. The 17-year-old, who was wearing a seatbelt, had minor injuries. The 63-year-old man in the tuck and his 5-year-old passenger were not injured. Both were wearing seatbelts, said FHP.

Two people died Saturday morning in the Melrose area when the experimental plane they were in crashed and burned. Florida Highway Patrol is in charge of the investigation into the crash of a gyroplane, an experimental craft which is a small plane and helicopter hybrid. The gyroplane crashed into a field near County Road 214 and Melrose Road in Clay County around 10 a.m., according to a report. The craft, believed to be homemade, avoided two buildings about 100 feet from the crash. 

St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting death of a man Saturday morning in the parking lot of a gas station in Ponte Vedra Beach. Deputies were called about 2:40 a.m. to the Circle K gas station off A1A in Ponte Vedra Beach where they found a man who had been shot. He was taken to an area hospital where he later died. The shooting apparently happened near a gas pump where a gun was found on the pavement in front of a car with the gas nozzle still in the car tank. Investigators say they do have the alleged shooter in custody and characterized the shooting as an altercation between two individuals. Names and details have still not been release.

Work has begun on replacing the Belle Terre pedestrian bridge just south of Buddy Taylor Middle School in Flagler County. Custom Built Marine Construction is demolishing the existing timber walkway and replacing it with a 10-foot-wide concrete path. Also included in the project will be construction of a roadside swale for stormwater runoff and the lining of existing culverts. Expect pedestrian traffic closure and detour signs along Belle Terre Parkway between the school and Pritchard Drive for the duration of the project which is expected to take several months.

Excavation for human remains at a construction site off New Kings Road in Palm Coast has concluded, according to Flagler County Sheriff’s Office. About 90 percent of a human skeleton has been recovered and medical experts believe it is about two decades old. The skeleton has been turned over to the Medical Examiner’s Office. Officials are hoping DNA will help determine the individual’s identity. The University of South Florida’s anthropology team along with FDLE and the Sheriff’s Office worked to find the bones. The search began July 19 after a construction worker found a human femur bone at the site.

If you’re planning to attend St. Johns River State College this fall, don’t forget registration ends Aug. 8. You can register at the college’s campuses in Palatka, St. Augustine and Orange Park. Call for information or go online.

And congratulations and party favors to Sharon Treen who has retired as county extension service director with the UF/IFAS program in East Palatka where she’s worked since 1989.

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