ELKTON, Fla. – A fiery head-on collision Wednesday morning killed four people in Elkton, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said the crash occurred about 8 a.m. as an SUV eastbound on State Road 206 between County Road 305 and Interstate 95 was trying to pass a tractor-trailer. The driver couldn't get back into his lane and struck another SUV head-on. One of the vehicles caught fire.
One person inside the first, red SUV and the man driving and two female passengers inside the second, silver SUV all died at the scene, according to FHP Sgt. Dylan Bryan.
According to the troopers, the truck driver witnessed the collision and remained at the scene to help investigators.
The ages and names of the victims were not immediately released. Because of the fire, it may be up to the medical examiner to determine the identification of the victims.
"Any loss of life is terrible, but unfortunately, when you start making it more than one, it is a bit more difficult," Bryan said. "With that being said, our investigators are on scene. We're trying to handle this as quickly as possible. We want to make sure this investigation is done in the most thorough fashion. This is kind of our opportunity to sort of write the last chapter of this person's life, or these peoples' lives."
S.R. 206 reopened about 12:45 p.m.
The speed limit in the area is 55 mph. Troopers said they did not yet know the speeds the vehicles were traveling at the time. They were also still investigating whether or not the occupants were wearing seat belts.
Just feet from where Wednesday's crash took place there is a memorial for an 18-year-old who died in a crash in 2012.
Jeanette McGuinness, who works at the gas station near the intersection of C.R. 206 and I-95, travels that way every day. She told News4Jax she was devastated when she heard about the crash and advises motorists to be careful on this road.
"I'm just heartbroken over the people. I'm just so heartbroken by that," McGuinness said. "I have children and my heart goes out to all of them and all the families out there."