DESTIN — A 40-year-old woman was killed Friday afternoon in a three-vehicle crash on the Marler Bridge that snarled eastbound traffic for miles, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The accident occurred about 2:10 p.m. as the vehicles were traveling east in the outside lane, the FHP said in a press release. Larry Hopson of Fort Walton Beach was driving a 2001 GMC Sonoma when he struck the rear of a 2102 Toyota 4Runner that had stopped for traffic on the bridge. The Toyota was knocked into the rear of 2014 Dodge Journey that had stopped in front of it.
Angela Lackey-Reynolds of Destin was traveling east on the bridge when she saw the accident occur ahead of her. "The luggage came flying out of the back window" of the Toyota when the pickup truck struck it, she said.
Lackey said she called 911 and stayed at the scene to give a witness statement to law officers. She said a woman in the pickup truck appeared to have been killed.
The woman's name was not immediately released pending notification of next of kin, according to the FHP.
Hopson, 43, was taken to Fort Walton Beach Medical Center with critical injuries, the FHP reported.
The driver and passenger in the Toyota, 48-year-old Ellis McCulley and 24-year-old Bart Johnson, both of Batesville, Mississippi, suffered minor injuries.
Maria Linares Nomesqui, 22, of Destin, was driving the Dodge. She also suffered minor injuries, the FHP said.
The FHP's investigation was continuing Friday night.
Friday's crash came less than 24 hours after another chain-reaction wreck on the bridge.
On Thursday, a Texas man was cited for careless driving after he was blamed for a six-vehicle accident in the eastbound lanes. Weston Desormeaux, 31, rear-ended another vehicle on the bridge about 4:30 p.m., which caused five more rear-end accidents as vehicles were knocked into one another, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
No one was injured in that incident.