In an official press release, the Florida Highway Patrol is detailing the facts behind a multiple vehicle wreck on Friday afternoon in Okeechobee County that left three people dead and one person seriously injured.

The accident occurred in the southbound lanes of US-441 south of SR-60. The time was approximately 1:50 PM.

The FHP states that a black Dodge Challenger driven by Michael A. Murph, 31, of Orlando, was traveling southbound on U.S. Highway 441 behind a semi-truck tractor trailer combination driven by Daniel O. Betancourt, 50, of Clewiston, Florida , also traveling in the southbound lane.

A white Kia Sportage sport utility vehicle driven by Valerie J. Edlemon, 66, of Okeechobee, was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 441 in the northbound lane at the same time.

The driver of the Challenger steered into the northbound lane and attempted to pass the Kia. Subsequently, the front of the Challenger struck the front of the Kia in the northbound lane. As a result of the collision, the Kia was launched into the southbound lane.

Subsequently, the front of the semi-truck struck the front of the Kia, which sent the Kia in a southwestern direction. A collision ensued.

Edlemon and a passenger in the Kia, Tonya Macon, 49, of Okeechobee, were pronounced deceased on scene. Another passenger in the Kia was pronounced deceased at Raulerson Hospital. That person was Jalen Edlemon, 14, also of Okeechobee.

The driver of the Challenge, Murph, suffered only minor injuries. His passenger, Vernisha A. Murph, 31, of Orlando, suffered serious wounds and was received by Raulerson Hospital.

The crash remains under investigation. Charges are pending.

Everyone at DeBerard Injury Attorney expresses their condolences to the family and friends of the victims. Any loss of life in this kind of accident is a tragedy. If you think a loved one has sustained an injury as the result of a fault of another, a bodily injury claim or wrongful death suit may be possible in which the victims’ family may be entitled to compensation.

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