Collision on US-41 kills one man, severely injures another

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SARASOTA – Florida Highway Patrol says the collision could have been avoided with some patience.

“That is why we want to see everyone be a little more patient, take your time,” State Trooper Kenn Watson said.

Just before 8:45 Tuesday morning, a northbound Acura attempted to turn left at US-41 and Field Rd., while a Ferrari was driving southbound.

“Witnesses say a large vehicle was traveling in that center lane, most likely obstructing the view of the vehicle that wanted to make that left turn,” Watson said. “Unfortunately when he did make that turn there was the Ferrari, traveling safely in that southbound lane, and there was a collision.”

Both vehicles spun off the roadway, killing 71-year-old Stephen Witzer, who was driving the Ferrari, and seriously injuring the driver of the Acura, 88-year-old Graham Hildebrand.

“What we want to remember is when your vision is obstructed, when you want to make a turn because there’s large profile vehicles in the roadway, you must maintain some patience,” Watson said.

Even if you’re in a rush, he said, and you can’t see past a large vehicle, do not make that turn.

“The most important thing is for you to get from point A to point B safely,” Watson said. “If it takes an extra 10 minutes, that’s fine.”

Both men involved in the crash were Sarasota residents.

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Hallie Peilet
Hallie Peilet is an Indiana University graduate with a degree in broadcast journalism, and a minor in music. She has had experience in several media outlets. Previously, she interned for WCIU-TV in Chicago, learning about production and live reporting. During her senior year at IU, she worked as a reporter and anchor for her campus news station, and as a multimedia journalist for WTIU/WFIU, the PBS/NPR affiliate in Bloomington. She grew up just outside of Chicago in Munster, Indiana, and in her free time she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, discovering new music, and watching Chicago sports. If you have an idea for a story, e-mail her at hallie.peilet@snntv.com.