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. Senate ponders health care bill it doesn't want to be law


    Buoyed by a signal from House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced a pared-down health care bill late Thursday that he hoped would keep alive Republican ambitions to repeal Obamacare.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., left, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., expressed concerns about passing the “skinny repeal” of Obamacare without assurances of further negotiations.
  2. Arrest made in shooting death of 19-year-old found in lot


    A 20-year-old Tampa man was arrested Thursday night for the shooting death of a 19-year-old whose body was discovered in a vacant lot on Tuesday.

  3. Rays fall to Yankees in 11 on Brett Gardner homer (w/ video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The front office did its part Thursday, making two trades to bolster the roster in a push for the playoffs. But the Rays didn't follow up in a frustrating 6-5 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

    Rays reliever Andrew Kittredge stands on the mound and can only watch as the Yankees’ Brett Gardner starts to circle the bases after his walkoff home run leading off the 11th inning.
  4. Believe it! Rays are buyers, trade for reliever Dan Jennings and 1B/DH Lucas Duda

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Dan Jennings' ability to render lefty hitters useless with a sinker that gets beaten into the ground and Lucas Duda's power to blast baseballs off and over outfield walls should make the Rays better.

    Lucas Duda
  5. Bucs' direction is decidedly up for first time in several years


    TAMPA — If you want to see a team give the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm to expectations, check out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Tight end O.J. Howard, left, the Bucs’ first-round draft pick this year, was brought in to give QB Jameis Winston another big-play option.