DALLAS — A motorcycle rider died Friday night near the border of Marion and Sumter counties when law enforcement officials said a pickup truck pulled out in front of the bike and hitting it, throwing the rider into the grassy median.
The crash, which occurred roughly a mile south of the intersection of U.S. 301 and County Road 42 on a dark stretch of roadway, caused the blocking of the northbound lanes for more than four hours as officials cleaned up debris and Florida Highway Patrol troopers conducted their investigation.
FHP troopers on scene said a Ford F-150 pickup truck, driven by a 36-year-old Belleview man with a 20-year-old Jacksonville man as his passenger, was traveling southbound on U.S. 301.
The motorcycle rider was heading in the opposite direction in the outside, or right lane.
Troopers said the truck’s driver went into the left turn lane to make a U-Turn. The truck then turned into the northbound right lane of U.S. 301, violating the bike’s right of way.
Authorities said the motorcycle rider veered left to avoid a collision. The front of the motorcycle, which was equipped with a sidecar, hit the back of the truck, sending the bike into the center median where it fell. The rider was ejected from the motorcycle and also landed in the median.
The rider died at the scene, officials said. FHP officials said the crash occurred at 8:36 p.m.
Marion County Fire Rescue spokesman James Lucas said they were assigned the call at 8:41 p.m. and arrived at 8:43 p.m. The man was declared dead at 8:45 p.m.
The victim was identified as a 43-year-old Summerfield man, officials said. The two people in the truck, who stood by the side of the vehicle during the investigation, were not injured, troopers said.
Troopers said by this time last year that they had recorded 76 deaths. So far this year, troopers said 60 people have died in traffic deaths. FHP officials said they had 93 fatalities for 2020.
Contact Austin L. Miller at 867-4118, [email protected] or @almillerosb.