An 81-year-old Michigan woman, and a 27-year-old man from Sopchoppy, managed to avoid injury in a fiery two-car crash last week on U.S. 98 between Eastpoint and Carrabelle.
According to a news release from the Florida Highway Patrol, Marilyn Rayer, of Dexter, Michigan, was driving a 2011 Dodge Nitro westbound on US 98 at about 5:45 p.m. on March 21 when she slowed to make a left turn into a driveway about 50 feet east of Hidden Beaches Road.
As she began to turn left, a 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Curtis Nowling, 27, of Sopchoppy, which was about two car lengths behind, began passing in the westbound lane. The left front of Nowling’s sports utility vehicle struck the left rear of Rayer’s sports utility vehicle.
After the collision, Rayer’s Nitro sideswiped a utility pole on the south shoulder, breaking the pole and leading to its cables starting a grass fire on the shoulder. Her vehicle then was engulfed in flames.
Carrabelle firefighters responded to the crash, and no injuries were reported. Because the electric current was active, no water could be used until Duke Energy arrived to shut off the power.
The FHP report said alcohol was not a factor in the mishap. Nowling was cited for improper change of lanes.