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1 DEAD, 2 INJURED IN CRASH ON U.S. 41

The accident closes both lanes of the highway for more than three hours.

A crash Tuesday night on U.S. 41 near State Road 52 left a 39-year-old Spring Hill man dead and two other Hernando County residents, one of whom was his wife, seriously injured.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Howard L. Bandoo died at the scene after the 2001 Honda he was riding in was struck head on by a 2004 Chevrolet SUV being driven by Bonita Vanstory Mathis, 51, of Brooksville.

Both Mathis and Bandoo's wife, Magali M. Perez, 40, who was driving the Honda, were airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where they remained in serious condition Wednesday, according to the FHP.

The FHP said a preliminary investigation showed that Mathis had been heading north and Perez had been going south on U.S. 41 at about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday when the collision occurred. It was not yet known which vehicle crossed the center line in the unlit, 55 mph zone. After the crash, both lanes of the highway were closed for more than three hours, according to the FHP.

It was not known whether any of those involved had been wearing seat belts. No charges had been filed Wednesday.

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@sptimes.com or 848-1435.

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