Injuries spared in Saturday bridge mishap

Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 02:01 PM.

No one was hurt Saturday evening when a car stopped in the road on the bridge was struck by an FWC truck.

According to a report provided by Florida Highway Patrol Trooper P. Azrak, at 7 p.m. Saturday, on the bridge about 2.5 miles west of Apalachicola, a 2009 Chevrolet HHR, driven by Larry Eugene McCourt, 47, of Liberty County, was stopped in the westbound lane, with no lights on.

Approaching from Eastpoint was a 2000 GMC truck, owned by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and driven by Donielle McKinley, who had just picked it up from the former Apalachicola National Estuaries Research Reserve in Eastpoint.

McKinley, a fisheries biological scientist for FWC, samples fish brought in at the fish houses, measuring them, weighing them and removing ear bones to age them.

McKinley said approaching traffic were flashing their lights at her. “I thought ‘Why are they flashing their lights at me? I already have my lights on, not my brights on,’” she said.

It was then that McKinley saw McCourt’s vehicle in the road. “I slammed on the brakes and swerved into oncoming lane to try to avoid hitting him,” she said.

McKinley said she braked and steered her vehicle to the left, but her right front hit McCourt’s station wagon at an angle, striking the rear driver’s side.



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