SR 417 reopens after fatal crash near Lake Jesup

- State Road 417 has reopened after being shut down in both directions for hours near Lake Jesup due to traffic accident with at one fatality.  The Seminole County Sheriff's Office had expected the roadway to remain closed for several hours as crews worked to investigate the crash and clear debris.

On Monday afternoon, authorities responded to a single-vehicle rollover on southbound lanes of SR 417, between Lake Mary Blvd. and State Road 434.  The crash occurred after law enforcement officers with the Sanford Police Department , the Sheriff's Office, and the Florida HIghway Patrol attempted to stop the vehicle.  

Police said it all started in a Sanford neighborhood around 2:30 p.m.,  when they received reports of a burglary.  "We had some neighbors witnesses in the area that called into Seminole County dispatch who gave us a description of vehicles that didn't belong to the house," said Ronny Neal with the Sanford Police Department. 

The suspects were driving in an orange Corvette that was reported stolen out of Orange County and a burgundy Acura, reported stolen out of Seminole County. It is  believed that all of the suspects eventually ended up in the Acura.  "Those vehicles fled from Sanford. The burgundy vehicle caused a crash where it struck a person on a motorcycle in the City of Sanford," said Kim Cannaday with the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. 

The Acura then fled from that accident and eventually traveled onto 417 where Seminole County deputies pursued them.  "It was reported to be going quite over the speed limit and driving recklessly, so because of that, there was an immediate danger to citizens, and that's why the decision was made to deploy stop sticks," Cannaday explained.

It is still unclear if the vehicle actually hit the stop sticks or was just trying to avoid them, but the vehicle crashed, leaving one person dead and four others injured.   A spokesperson with the FHP said one of the survivors later died, though no other details were immediately available, and the identities of the deceased had not been released. 

The crash forced officials to shut down 417 in both directions, creating a traffic nightmare for drivers during rush hour.  Officials said they were just glad no other drivers were hurt. "We were very, very lucky there were no cars immediately surrounding, from what we understand," said Cannaday.

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