A Milton woman narrowly missed two Okaloosa County Sheriff's deputies and emergency medical workers when she struck one patrol vehicle - throwing it into a second patrol car at the scene of an overturned semi accident on Interstate 10 early Monday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Trooper L.D. Slick says Merlene B. Blake, 76, was traveling east in the outside eastbound lane of I10 just a few miles east of Crestview when she changed into the inside eastbound lane. Two sheriff's patrol vehicles with emergency lights activated were parked in the inside lane to keep traffic away from EMS workers on scene. EMS was there for an accident that occurred five minutes prior to Blake's arrival, according to FHP reports. The ambulance was also parked in the inside lane, near the overturned semi in the median.
Slick says Blake's 2005 Hyundai struck the back of the patrol vehicle, a 2010 Ford Explorer. The impact moved the Explorer forward, causing it to hit another patrol vehicle, at 2008 Explorer. Troopers estimate damage to the patrol vehicles at $35,000 and Blake's vehicle at $15,000 in damage.
No injuries were reported in the crash.
The original accident occurred at 4:45 a.m. when Geordany Leon, 34, Cutler Bay, FL was traveling eastbound on I10 when the 2001 semi-truck he was driving went into the median and hit a pine tree, according to Trooper E.J. Roberts III. Upon impact, the trailer rolled onto its side. Traffic was held-up in the eastbound lane as the truck was set upright. Leon was not injured.