Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Spring Hill truck driver dies in accident at Hernando cement plant

Ismael Santana, 51, died in a Brooksville hospital. He had a wife and two grown kids.

Ismael Santana, 51, died in a Brooksville hospital. He had a wife and two grown kids.

SPRING HILL — Ismael Santana was a loving and faith-filled man who took pleasure in providing for his loved ones.

On Thursday, his family struggled as they wondered: How could such a man have been taken away from them so suddenly?

"We couldn't believe it," said sister-in-law Paula Santana. "It was too hard to accept."

Hernando County sheriff's deputies say Santana, 51, an independent truck driver from Spring Hill, was hauling ash at a Cemex cement plant Wednesday morning when he was pinned between a front-end loader and his semitrailer.

Investigators said Santana was driving the first truck of the day to dump a load of ash at the Cemex plant at 10311 Cement Plant Road, off Cobb Road northwest of Brooksville. As he was exiting his truck, the driver of a front-end loader who was moving debris did not see Santana and backed into him, pinning him against the semi's cabin. Authorities did not name the driver.

Cemex employees rendered aid until deputies and Hernando County Fire Rescue officials arrived. Santana was taken to Bayfront Health Brooksville, where doctors pronounced him dead at 10:09 a.m. due to catastrophic injuries.

The Sheriff's Office and the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration are investigating the incident.

Santana's relatives were stunned and saddened by the loss. Tears flowed freely Thursday, as family gathered front of their Spring Hill home.

"Anyone who knew him loved him," Paula Santana said. "All we have is gratitude to him."

She said her brother-in-law was a good Christian, hardworking, kind and a wonderful father and sibling.

"He was a big brother — sort of a father-like figure — to all of us," she said.

Santana leaves behind his wife, Rochelly; two children, Ismael and Krystel, ages 25 and 26; and a tight-knit family.

Paula Santana said they all were trying to stay strong.

Contact Danny Valentine at or (352) 848-1432. Follow @HernandoTimes.

Spring Hill truck driver dies in accident at Hernando cement plant 07/24/14 [Last modified: Thursday, July 24, 2014 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida TaxWatch calls out $180 million of questionable spending in state budget


    Florida TaxWatch, a Tallahassee thinktank, has released its annual "budget turkey" list that calls on Gov. Rick Scott to veto nearly $180 million in special projects tucked into the budget, mostly in transportation.

    Kurt Wenner, Florida TaxWatch's vice president for research, presents the organization's 2017 turkey list.
  2. U.S. plans first test of ICBM intercept, with North Korea on mind


    WASHINGTON — Preparing for North Korea's growing threat, the Pentagon will try to shoot down an intercontinental-range missile for the first time in a test next week. The goal is to more closely simulate a North Korean ICBM aimed at the U.S. homeland, officials said Friday.

    n this May 21 file photo people watch a TV news program showing a file image of a missile launch conducted by North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea. With North Korea's nuclear missile threat in mind, the Pentagon is planning a missile defense test next week that for the first time will target an intercontinental-range missile.
  3. A breakdown of the proposed new state budget by the Florida Association of Counties.
  4. Gradebook podcast: Budgets, pre-k, achievement gap and more


    As classes let out across Florida, school district leaders continue to analyze how they're going to balance their budgets given the constraints proposed by state lawmakers.  Reporter Jeff Solochek and editor Tom Tobin discuss the concerns district finance officials are raising as they look at the budget while …

  5. Boehner: Trump's term 'disaster,' aside from foreign affairs


    WASHINGTON — Former House Speaker John Boehner says that aside from international affairs and foreign policy, President Donald Trump's time in office has so far been a "complete disaster."

    John Boehner said he's been friends with Trump for 15 years, but still has a hard time envisioning him as president.