SWITZERLAND, Fla. – Friends are sharing their support and remembering the life of a St. Johns County tractor driver killed in a tragic crash Monday with a milk truck.
Friends have identified the driver as 39-year-old Lee Bailey from the Switzerland area of St. Johns County.
Bailey was driving his tractor slowly along Race Track Road when, according to investigators, a truck owned by Borden Dairy struck him from behind. That collision caused the tractor to overturn and the dairy truck careened into the opposite lanes, snapping a tree that partially crushed the truck’s cab.
Several friends of Bailey reached out to News4Jax.
“It’s awful. All of our friends are really torn up,” said Danielle Evors. “He always had a smile and a hug for you (and would ask) how’s your mom and daddy doing. Just a real, overall good guy.”
Evors and other friends said both Bailey’s mother and father have passed away in recent years.
“Lee was the epitome of a blue-collar, hardworking guy. He passed away working hard and that’s all he’s ever known is to work hard,” Evors said.
Another friend, Michael Dukes, said Bailey was working to clear land and grade lots and was a good tractor operator.
“We were good brothers, grew up in Switzerland together and always had our group,” Dukes said. “That’s how Switzerland boys are. Grew up together, hung out together. You needed something, he would help you.”
Borden Dairy sent a statement about the crash:
“We are deeply saddened for all involved and wish to thank the first responders for their support. We are cooperating fully with the police investigation as safety is always our top priority.”
The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office is investigating and said it will take days or weeks before there are any determinations of fault in the crash. The agency told News4Jax that at this point, it’s unclear if any traffic citations or charges will apply.