Three Service Electric Company employees from Georgia were killed April 2 when two cars collided and one careened into them while they worked on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 27, reported several news sources.
The workers — Jeremy Bradshaw, 35, of Albany; Dewey Summerlin, 34, of Franklin; and Jeffrey Estes, 40, of Ringgold — died at the scene, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A six-man work crew was erecting a power pole about 20 feet off the highway — one on a crane, one on a boom, one in a truck and the three eventual victims on the ground.
According to investigators, 92-year-old Ira Caldwell Jr. of Davenport was driving a 2006 Cadillac DTS and making a right turn from Cornerside Boulevard into the middle lane of US 27 South. He pulled into the path of a southbound Chevrolet Lumina driven by 20-year-old Alexandra Schultz of Clermont. The front of the Cadillac hit the right side of the Chevrolet, causing it to veer off the highway and into the three workers. One of the workers was pinned underneath the Chevrolet, reported the Daily Commercial.
Schultz received minor injuries and was taken to South Lake Hospital. Caldwell was unhurt.
FHP Sgt. Montes said the utility workers followed all the necessary precautions to ensure they were visible. They were behind a yellow fence, wore bright vests and stood 15 to 20 feet from the road. The section of the highway was marked by orange work signs, and the workers were also wearing helmets and were operating in a metal barricade to help protect them.
Service Electric Company sent out a statement following the incident: “Service Electric Company is saddened by the tragic accident that occurred in Davenport, Florida, today, April 2, 2015,” the statement reads. “Our thoughts and prayers first and foremost go out to our employees and their families.”
Alcohol is not believed to have played a role in the accident, according to FHP officials. Charges are pending against the 92-year-old driver.
Flowers and printed prayers have been placed at the crash site. Among them was a colorful bouquet that could been seen sticking out of the bottom end of a huge power pole laying on the ground on the west shoulder of U.S. Highway 27. It was the same pole the workers had been preparing to raise when the car careened 20 feet off the road and plowed into them.
Service Electric Company also posted several photos on its website April 8 of two bucket trucks holding up the American flag in honor of the fallen workers.