A 2003 Ford F350 truck carrying wood crashed into a ditch alongside the Pinellas Bayway on Thursday, October 21, causing several pieces of wood to break free and strike an excavator driver around 9 a.m.
The driver of the truck, Jesus Refugio Cortes, 43, was traveling northbound on the Pinellas Bayway (County Road 679) when he left the east side of the road, struck a utility box, a sign post and a palm tree whilst rolling into a ditch in the 6300 block of the Pinellas Bayway.
“The truck had a work/ladder rack on top with several pieces of wood,” the St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) released on Wednesday.
Upon impact, the wood fell from a secure position and struck the driver of an excavator, Howard Hugh Powell, 46, who was working with a construction crew at the time of the incident.
Powel was transported to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg in critical condition, while Cortes was transported to the same location with minor injuries.
It’s unclear why the Cortes originally swerved off the road, according to the SPPD.
“Neither alcohol nor drugs played a part in this crash,” according to the SPPD.
The investigation is ongoing.