Victim identified in Buckman Bridge fatal crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Authorities say search crews recovered the body of 48-year-old William Maddox of Tampa approximately 25-feet north of the Buckman Bridge Wednesday just before noon.

A black pickup truck was pulled from the St. Johns River after it went off the bridge around 8 a.m.

Since no one was inside, the search for possible survivors continued until Maddox was found, according to Florida Highway Patrol Captain Keith Gaston.

Maddox's body was discovered in about twelve to fourteen feet of water. "We know the person was out of the vehicle, they attempted to swim," Gaston detailed.

Gaston said the incident started with a crash on the southbound side of the bridge. Shortly after, on the northbound side, a 2006 Toyota Scion driven by 21-year-old Andrew McPhun, came up upon slow or stopped traffic, tried to move over into another lane, but clipped the black pickup truck. Both vehicles spun out of control. The truck went backwards over the the side of the bridge.

Charges are pending in the crash according to a report from FHP.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, FHP and other agencies were on the scene for hours searching for survivors and managing miles of backed up traffic.

The U.S. Coast Guard sent two vessels: a 25-foot Response Boat from Mayport and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Savannah's Coast Guard Air Station.

History of crashes on the Buckman Bridge

There have been several times over the past few years where major incidents have stalled traffic on the Buckman Bridge.

In 2012, one person was thrown from a car and over the bridge after a crash. A Good Samaritan, who had a ladder was able to rescue the male victim from the water.

In 2011, a case of road rage ended in gunfire on the Buckman Bridge. According to FHP, it started when one driver tried to change lanes, and the other driver wouldn't let them through. FHP said the driver doing the blocking threw an air freshener at the other car. That's when the first driver opened fired, hitting the other driver in the leg.

In 2010, Sasha Pringle was convicted of vehicular homicide, and other charges, after a crash killed a local mom, who was hit from behind by Pringle.


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