WALTON COUNTY — A 55-year-old Mobile, Alabama, man is in serious condition after a five-vehicle crash Sunday on Interstate 10 near mile marker 72.
The accident began when Greg Crutchfield, 33 of Milton, was traveling west within the inside lane of I-10 about 5 p.m., according to a press release from the Florida Highway Patrol. Rance Massengill, 57 of Marianna, was driving east in the outside lane while a third vehicle, driven by 67-year-old Danny Self of Cantonment, was in the inside lane traveling east and was approaching Massengill's vehicle.
John Stone, 57, of Molino, was traveling east in the outside lane, several car lengths behind Massengill and Self. A fifth vehicle, a Freightliner driven by 55-year-old Lonnie Smith of Mobile, Alabama, was also traveling east in the outside lane.
At the time of the crash, the roads were wet and had standing water. Crutchfield was traveling too fast for the road conditions and lost control, according to the press release. His vehicle began to hydroplane out of control in a west, southwesterly direction into the grass median.
Crutchfield's vehicle slid across the median and entered into the eastbound lanes directly into the paths of all four of the other vehicles. Massengill, the second driver, took evasive action by veering right, but was unable to avoid a collision with Crutchfield. The crash caused the left front of Crutchfield's vehicle to collide with the left side of Massengill's.
Crutchfield's car continued in a westerly direction after the crash and into the inside travel lane, directly into the path of Self's vehicle. Self also took evasive action by steering left but was unable to avoid a collision and crashed.
Stone, the fourth driver, saw the crash and tried to avoid it, but his car left the paved portion of the roadway on the south shoulder and came to final rest next to the wood line.
Smith, the fifth driver, also tried to take evasive action by braking and steering toward the right, south shoulder. Although he avoided the other vehicles, his truck left the paved portion of the roadway on the south shoulder and began to rotate counter clockwise and overturned onto its right side.
Smith was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in serious condition. None of the others in the vehicles were injured.
Crutchfield was cited for failing to use due care when special hazards were present.