Body found near Fruitland Park bridge belongs to driver involved in crash, Lake deputies say

Katie Rice, Orlando Sentinel
·1 min read

Divers with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of a Leesburg man who authorities say jumped from a bridge over Lake Griffin after running from the scene of a nearby car accident just after midnight Thursday, according to an agency spokesperson.

The man’s body was recovered around 12:30 p.m., nearly 12 hours after the accident, close to the Picciola Road bridge in Fruitland Park, LCSO spokesman Lt. John Herrell said.

Officials identified the body as that of a driver who ran from a crash in the area around midnight Thursday and whom police saw jump from the Picciola Road bridge shortly afterward.

Deputies confirmed the man was driving a car involved in the crash and found his cell phone in the vehicle, Herrell said.

Witnesses to the accident told responding officers with the Fruitland Park Police Department that he ran away from the accident toward the bridge. A responding officer then saw someone jump from the bridge, Herrell said.

Police officers, deputies and a drone unit searched the lake that morning but were unable to find the man. Police requested the search continue during the daytime, and the LCSO Dive Team continued searching later Thursday.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the death investigation, and the Fruitland Park Police Department is investigating the related traffic crash. Officials have released no further information in the case.

krice@orlandosentinel.com