Saturday, June 15, 2024

Deadly crash on Gulf Boulevard in Sand Key involving a pickup lodged under tractor-trailer

At approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 5, 2024, crews from Clearwater Police and Clearwater Fire & Rescue responded to a traffic crash in the 1200 block of Gulf Boulevard in Sand Key.

The crash involved a red 2007 Ford F-150 and a tractor-trailer. The pickup truck was lodged under the tractor-trailer, and firefighters initiated an operation to extricate the two occupants. Additional fire rescue units were requested to assist with the extended extrication.

The passenger in the pickup, 41-year-old Mark Harris of Valrico, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver, 36-year-old Michael D. Jones of  Clearwater, remains in critical condition at Orlando Health Bayfront Hospital in St. Petersburg. 

The crash occurred as a tractor-trailer was backing into the driveway of the Sheraton Sand Key Hotel.

A northbound 2007 pickup was traveling at a high of speed and slammed into the tractor-trailer. The impact tore the roof off the pickup and the vehicle became lodged under the tractor-trailer. 

Speed and alcohol appear to be factors in the crash according to investigators.

The driver of the tractor-trailer refused medical care at the scene.

This resulted in the closure of Gulf Boulevard in the Sand Key area during the investigation until approximately 8:15 a.m.

Photo of deadly crash on Sand Key. Photo courtesy of Brandon Leedham

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