FLEMING ISLAND, Fla. – A 50-year-old man, a 87-year-old woman and a dog were killed Friday in a traffic crash on US 17 near Copper Stone Drive in Fleming Island, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
FHP identified the victims as Robert Anthony Lee and Theodora A. Skarlis, who were traveling in separate vehicles.
Michelle Marie Burt, 25, and 52-year-old Stephanie Skarlis Burt who were traveling with Skarlis were also injured in the crash and transported to UF Health Jacksonville in critical condition, FHP spokesman Dylan Bryan said. News4Jax was told the three women are related.
Around 3 p.m. a white Ford F-150 driving southbound on US 17 and a black Lexus SUV was driving northbound on US 17 in Fleming Island. The truck hit a stop sign at Radar Road and then veered through the grass median and into the left northbound lane of US 17, Bryan said. This caused the SUV to strike the driver's side of the truck and both vehicles flipped.
Bryan said the cause of the accident is still under investigation.
"We're going to obtain all the information that we can to process this investigation as quickly as possible. We're looking at all factors... Not only alcohol influence but controlled substance to see if that's on board or a part of this investigation. But everything will be looked at in this case," Bryan said.
FHP said Robert Lee, who was driving the truck died on scene. A pet dachshund was also in the truck and died. Theodora Skarlis was a passenger in the SUV and died on scene.
"It's just a tragedy," Bryan said. "Not only because of the loss of life, but it's just a demonstration of the amount of velocity and force that's involved in these types of collisions."
All northbound and southbound lanes of US 17 were closed for approximately 4 hours and charges are still pending, according to FHP.