A Florida Highway Patrol trooper was killed investigating a traffic accident on Interstate 75 near Ocala Saturday.
FHP Trooper Chelsea Richard was standing on the shoulder of the interstate when a second crash occurred that claimed the life of the law enforcement officer. The trooper and an unidentified tow truck driver were killed. A third victim was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Richard arrived at the scene of a two-car crash on southbound I-75 at mile marker 341 to investigate the incident, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Both cars involved in the crash pulled over to the shoulder of the interstate.
About 30 minutes later, the trooper was talking to the tow truck driver when a second multi-vehicle crash occurred in the interstate's southbound lanes.
During the crash, a pickup truck traveled onto the east shoulder and struck the FHP cruiser, the trooper, the tow truck driver and another pedestrian. The trooper and tow truck driver were pronounced dead at scene. A third pedestrian, whose name was not released, was transported in critical condition to Ocala Regional Hospital.
Southbound lanes of I-75 have experience major delays due to the traffic homicide investigation. Motorists are encouraged to find alternate routes. The northbound lanes have remained open.
It is unknown Saturday whether charges will be filed as a result of the traffic accidents. The incident is being investigated.