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Tanker, semi-trailer trucks collide in deadly U.S. 98 crash in Dade City

The Florida Highway Patrol doesn’t know why the tanker truck crossed the center line into opposing traffic. The tanker driver died at the scene.
A tanker truck struck a semi-trailer truck nearly head-on Monday, killing a Zephyrhills man and shutting down a portion of U.S. 98 in Pasco County, authorities said.
A tanker truck struck a semi-trailer truck nearly head-on Monday, killing a Zephyrhills man and shutting down a portion of U.S. 98 in Pasco County, authorities said. [ Florida Highway Patrol ]
Published Nov. 4, 2019
Updated Nov. 5, 2019

DADE CITY ― A tanker truck struck a semi-trailer truck nearly head-on Monday, killing a Zephyrhills man and shutting down a portion of U.S. 98 in Pasco County, authorities said.

The crash took place at about 2:45 p.m. north of Dade City on U.S. 98, just south of Stanton Hall Drive.

Edward R. Holzer II, 53, was driving a 2012 tanker truck carrying liquid asphalt north on U.S. 98 when he suddenly crossed the center line and entered the southbound lane, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Heading south on U.S. 98 was a 2008 Mack semi-trailer truck driven by Ophny Duclos, 41. The tanker truck struck the left side of the semi-trailer truck, troopers said.

The tanker also struck two other soundbound vehicles, a freight truck and a 2005 Chevrolet Colorado pick-up truck, troopers said. The freight truck driver suffered minor injuries but two people in the pick-up were not injured. The impact caused the pick-up to hit the semi-trailer truck. Behind those vehicles, debris struck a 2008 Chevrolet Tahoe SUV. No one was injured in the Tahoe.

The crash also caused more than 100 gallons of fuel to spill, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue. No spilled asphalt was reported.

Holzer died from his injuries at the scene. He was not wearing his seat belt, the Highway Patrol said. Trooper do not know why he suddenly crossed the center line.

Duclos, of Winter Haven, was wearing his seat belt and suffered minor injuries in the crash. Everyone else involved in the crash was also wearing their seat belts.

The crash was not alcohol-related, according to the Highway Patrol. The crash left the roadway covered in debris and the surrounding area was closed for most of the afternoon. There will be no charges filed in this crash, troopers said.

A tanker truck struck a semi-trailer truck nearly head-on Monday, killing a Zephyrhills man and shutting down a portion of U.S. 98 in Pasco County, authorities said.
A tanker truck struck a semi-trailer truck nearly head-on Monday, killing a Zephyrhills man and shutting down a portion of U.S. 98 in Pasco County, authorities said. [ Florida Highway Patrol ]