JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A 22-year-old man was killed early Friday morning in a wrong-way crash on Interstate 95, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
It happened just before 1:30 a.m. near University Boulevard.
Troopers said Nicolas Reid was in a Nissan Altima driven by 19-year-old Haven Vaughn when the Nissan collided with a Dodge Avenger. The Highway Patrol said the Nissan was traveling south in the left, northbound lane of I-95 when it struck the Dodge, which was traveling north in that lane.
Reid, who was not wearing a seat belt, died in the crash, according to the Highway Patrol crash report.
News4Jax was told Reid was a father to a 4-year-old girl.
Troopers said Vaughn and the driver of the Dodge, a 24-year-old Jacksonville man, suffered only minor injuries. The FHP report states charges are pending.
According to data from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 71 wrong-way crashes in Duval County in 2015, two of which were fatal.
To reduce wrong-way crashes, the Florida Department of Transportation recently finished a $1.3 million project to improve wrong-way signage and pavement markings.
“The signage includes more reflective tape on the wrong-way signs,” explained FDOT spokesperson Hampton Ray. “You may not think that it’s a fancy upgrade, but typically these occurrences happen at night and we want to make sure it’s as visible as possible and the drivers know when they are taking the wrong way.”
FDOT said improvements were made to roughly 200 interstates and state roads, reminding drivers that if they see someone traveling the wrong way to pull over to a safe location and call 911.
On Friday morning, all northbound lanes of I-95 at University Boulevard were blocked for nearly five hours while the crash was under investigation. All lanes reopened just before 6 a.m. A second crash in the northbound lanes of I-95 past Emerson Street helped snarl the Friday morning commute across much of the Southside.