ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A fatal single-vehicle crash snarled traffic on U.S. 1 near Las Calinas Boulevard this afternoon.
The crash involved one victim, 55-year-old Mark D. Sowards, who was dead on arrival, according to Jeremy Robshaw of St. Johns County Fire Rescue.
Sowards was driving a Kubota tractor northbound on U.S. 1 just before noon. A 1997 Lexus driven by Wade A. Abern, 46, was traveling in the outside lane, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.
To avoid a culvert, Sowards left the shoulder and entered the outside lane in front of Abern's vehicle, the report stated.
The front right of Abern's vehicle struck the left rear of the mower deck on Sowards' tractor, as Abern was unable to avoid a collision. Sowards was ejected from the tractor, striking his head on the roadway.
Sowards was not wearing a seatbelt and Abern was, the report stated.
U.S. 1 was closed in both directions, at the time but the roadway is clear now, according to the FHP.
First Coast News