One Killed in Southside Blvd. Crash | News

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One Killed in Southside Blvd. Crash

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- One person was killed in the first of two serious crashes that snarled Southside traffic for hours this morning.

The first happened just before 7 a.m. in the northbound lanes of Southside Blvd. near Belle Rive Blvd.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Traffic Homicide unit determined 58-year-old Russell Townsend Harkins was driving southbound when he crossed the median.

Harkins' car collided with a northbound car, which subsequently caused two other vehicles to collide.

When rescuers got to the car, they found Harkins unresponsive and unconscious.  He was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.

The investigation is continuing.

Traffic was rerouted from that scene, with 9A northbound being one of the options.

However, less than an hour after the crash on Southside, another crash tied up 9A for a couple of hours.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, northbound traffic on State Road 9A near Baymeadows Road was at a standstill shortly after 7:30 when a driver approaching from the rear was unable to stop in time.

The car driven by 21-year-old Sharon L. Blessing hit an SUV, which then hit another SUV.  The driver of the SUV in the front suffered only minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital.

The driver of the first SUV hit had to be extricated from the vehicle and taken to the hospital, a trooper at the scene said, though the crash report lists only minor injuries.

Blessing, who was not wearing a seat belt, according to the report, was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Weather is also not suspected of being a factor in the crash.

Blessing was cited for careless driving.

The vehicles, which ended up in the median, were removed and traffic was moving again shortly after 9.


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