Live Oak —
The Florida Highway Patrol has released the name of the driver who died in Tuesday’s single car accident on I-75 in Hamilton County. The driver, who was the sole occupant, has been identified as 56-year-old Gary Lee Prince of Wellborn.
According to the FHP, Prince was traveling northbound in a 1991 Ford Explorer when the left rear tire “experienced a catastrophic failure and came apart” as it moved to the inside lane to pass traffic that was entering the interstate from the northbound DOT scales.
“As a result of the tire coming apart, Prince was unable to maintain control of (the) vehicle,” FHP Trooper Alfred Hughes III reported.
The Ford began rotating to the right and traveled across the center and right lanes of the interstate before leaving the roadway and sliding across the entrance ramp from the DOT scales and the emergency lane before exiting onto the grassy shoulder. As the vehicle slid into the ditch it overturned at least once, ejecting Prince, who was not wearing a seatbelt, according to FHP.
The Ford came to a final rest on its wheels, with the front left corner at the state fence line, facing a southwesterly direction.