Drunk Driver Kills Two And Seriously Injures Two In Hit And Run Crash On I-75 In Sarasota

SARASOTA COUNTY - FHP has announced two people have lost their lives and two people are in serious condition after a drunk driver crashed into their vehicle Saturday evening.

The fatal crash began as a 2015 Ford Pickup Truck was southbound on Interstate 75 within the center lane south of Mile Marker 196.

Traveling within the pickup truck were four occupants, the driver, a 63-year-old woman from North Port, and three passengers a 41-year-old woman from Lowell Indiana, a 64-year-old man from North Port, and a 50-year-old man from Lowell Indiana.

In the left lane directly to the left of the Ford Pickup was a 59-year-old Man from Naples Florida driving a 2006 Hyundai sedan.

At 7:10:00 PM, the driver of the Hyundai sedan steered toward the right crossing from the left lane into the center lane where the right side of the Hyundai collided with the left side of the Ford Pickup Truck.

The force of the crash caused the Pickup Truck to be rotated and travel off the roadway onto the grass shoulder at speed where the pickup violently overturned.

The 64-year-old man from North Port was sitting in the back seat of the pickup and was thrown from the vehicle was fatally injured in the crash and pronounced deceased at the scene.

The 50-year-old man from Lowell Indiana was also sitting in the back seat of the vehicle and was ejected when the truck overturned, causing him to be critically injured by the crash. EMS was able to transport the man to Sarasota Memorial Hospital however he succumbed to his injuries and died at the Hospital.

The 63-year-old woman from North Port who was driving the pickup truck was seriously injured in the crash and taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The driver-side passenger, a 41-year-old woman from Lowell Indiana was also seriously hurt in the collision and taken to Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

After causing the fatal crash the driver of the sedan who side-swiped the pickup truck fled the scene of the crash.

However FHP located the vehicle a short time later on Laurel Road in Nokomis and arrrested the driver, 59-year-old Donald Leif Johnsen, of Naples.

Johnsen was taken into custody for two counts of leaving the scene of a crash involveing death, and two counts of DUI manslaughter.

The crash remains under investigation.

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