Three people died Saturday night in crash involving a motorcycle and an SUV.
The crash, in which one car caught on fire, happened at mile marker 96 in Key Largo shortly before 7 p.m., according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
The Florida Highway Patrol, which is investigating the crash, could not immediately be reached. But, initial 911 call center information from the Sheriff’s Office indicates the motorcycle slammed into the Buick Enclave SUV, killing the motorcycle driver and the two people inside the car.
The Buick driver was making a left turn across the southbound lanes of U.S. 1 into the Buttonwood Bay condominiums, and the Honda motorcycle was heading south, along with another sports bike, “at a high-rate of speed.”
The impact caused the Enclave to roll over and burst into flames.
The other motorcycle rider continued driving south after the crash, the 911 call center information states. As of Sunday afternoon, it wasn’t clear if that person ended up stopping farther down the highway.
One witness, who did not want to be named, said he went to give aid immediately after hearing the impact, although he did not see what happened.
He approached the wreckage to help those inside. But one of the vehicles became completely engulfed in flames, making it impossible to get to the victims, he said.
Traffic was backed up for hours in both directions on the only major highway that runs up and down the island chain as firefighters, medics and police responded. The road wasn’t completely opened back up until 12:39 a.m.
Seven people have died on Florida Keys roads since New Year’s Eve. Five of the fatalities were on U.S. 1. The other was on Card Sound Road, the other major artery leading in and out of the archipelago.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.