LAND O'LAKES — A four-vehicle pileup during morning rush hour Friday left two people dead and traffic snarled for hours.
The crash occurred just before 8:30 a.m. on State Road 52, just west of Ehren Cutoff. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, here is what happened:
Cynthia Vaughn, 23, of Hudson was headed east in her 2007 Toyota Corolla. She veered into the westbound lane in an attempt to pass traffic on the two-lane road.
A pickup driving behind Vaughn followed her, also trying to pass the traffic in front of them. The 1998 Chevrolet pickup was driven by Calvin Salter, 41, of Spring Hill.
A semitrailer truck was in the westbound lane, headed straight for Vaughn and Salter. Vaughn managed to retreat to the eastbound lane, FHP said, but Salter couldn't.
His pickup crossed the westbound lane and went into the north shoulder, then rotated clockwise and drove into the westbound lane again.
The semi, driven by Raymond Divine, 45, of Clermont, hit the left side of the pickup and pushed it into the eastbound lane. The pickup hit the left side of a Pasco County Mosquito Control truck, driven by Brett Hicks, 28, of Holiday. The semi barreled onto the south shoulder, also hitting the county truck.
Vaughn and Salter died at the scene.
Divine, the semi driver, sustained minor injuries and was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.
Hicks, who works in mosquito inspections and pesticide application, also suffered minor injuries. He was also transported to St. Joseph's Hospital.
All four drivers wore their seat belts, according to a report. None had passengers.
SR 52, from Ehren Cutoff to U.S. 41, was closed for more than three hours.
Erin Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6229.