Mark Leyde and another man were killed in an Osteen, Florida car accident on State Road 415 Saturday, according to press reports. A third driver, identified as Marie Moore, was also involved in the accident. Leyde, a 59-year-old from Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, was pronounced dead at the scene. The Sanford driver, 53, was taken to the Florida Hospital. He later died of his injuries. Moore, 52, was unharmed. The FHP is still investigating the accident, and it is unclear whether alcohol, substance abuse, or a possible illness has played role in the collision. It is also not known whether legal action may follow.
Reports say the accident occurred around 3:00 Saturday afternoon on State Road 415 in Osteen, Florida. Leyde was traveling north, just shy of Ellis Road, when his vehicle entered the southbound lane. Investigators are unsure why his vehicle changed lanes, but when it did, he collided head-on with the unidentified Sanford driver. A third vehicle, driven by Marie Moore, struck some debris from the collision and rebounded off the road and onto a grassy shoulder. Moore was not injured in the accident, but it is not known how much damage her vehicle sustained.
When the FHP and medical responders arrived at the scene, they pronounced Leyde dead and transported the Sanford driver to the Florida Hospital. He later died, despite the hospital staff’s best efforts to save him. Investigators say they will not publicly identify the driver until they have informed his next of kin of the loss. The FHP is still investigating the accident in hopes of uncovering the cause.
Of course, the Florida Highway Patrol and other law enforcement organizations would prefer that there were no traffic accidents at all. While many Florida residents were celebrating the Labor Day weekend, partying on the beach and having get-togethers with family, the Florida Highway Patrol was busy cracking down on drunk and impaired drivers to this end. The nationwide initiative, which was part of this year’s “drive sober or get pulled over” campaign, aims to stop drunk driving even on national holidays.
“All uniformed FHP personnel, including those normally assigned to administrative duties, will patrol interstates and other major state roads during the holiday. FHP Auxiliary troopers also will volunteer to augment the Patrol during the holiday travel period,” the FHP announced prior to Labor Day weekend. It is not clear how many drunk drivers were actually apprehended.
The FHP encouraged persons wishing to drink to designate a driver beforehand or travel by cab. They also mentioned that drivers with AAA could arrange a “Tow to Go” pickup, which is a service sponsored by Budweiser. The program allows impaired customers to call a hotline and request that they and up to one other person, along with their vehicle, be towed to their home free of charge – as long as it is within ten miles of where they were picked up. AAA say the service has helped over 20,000 people get a safe ride home since its inception in 1998.