Head-on crashes account for only a small percentage of all overall accidents, but those accidents tend to be severe enough to cause 10% of all fatalities. Head-on crashes had a 58% fatality rate in 2017 according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. A large percentage of head-on collisions occur when a driver crosses the double yellow line and enters the lanes for oncoming traffic. This can be due to intoxication, distraction, being tired or drowsy, or improper passing. A driver might also swerve to avoid an accident, an animal in the roadway, or other obstacles and end up facing oncoming traffic, leading to a head-on collision.
The Chronicle Online reports that a head-on collision has killed three people, and another has been left seriously injured.
The crash occurred on Tuesday afternoon on County Road 581 in Pasco County.
A report from the Florida Highway Patrol indicates that 53-year-old Philip Sawhill was driving a 2012 white Toyota Highlander northbound on C.R. 581. At the same time, 62-year-old Amalia Gomara was driving a 2012 Kia Optima southbound on the same road.
Sawhill tried to pass other traffic on C.R. 581 in a no-passing zone. He merged his SUV into the southbound lane, slamming into the front of the Kia.
The Toyota came to rest in the roadway and then caught fire. The Kia spun and came to a rest on the shoulder of the roadway.
Gomara and her passengers, 86-year-old Clara Gorrin, and 85-year-old Nilda Cordovi died at the scene. Sawhill was transported to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point with serious injuries.
It is currently unknown if intoxication was a factor in the crash. The investigation is still ongoing.