2 dead following head-on collision along SR 429

A fatal crash shut down the northbound lanes of State Road 429 for several hours on Thursday.

The Florida Highway Patrol said two people were killed in a 140 mph head-on collision along northbound lanes, near mile marker 19. Four vehicles were involved in the crash. 

"A white SUV was traveling southbound on 429, at some point began traveling in the grass median, came back into the southbound lanes...and then went back into the grass median traveling at full speed and at some point traveled into the north bound lanes where it hit a work truck," explained FHP Lt. Kim Montes.

Montes said the southbound Range Rover had been driving in the grassy median for quite a while, maneuvering back on the road to avoid a cluster of trees, before driving back into the grassy median again.  

"The witnesses said the SUV was keeping the same speed as the vehicles on the road," Montes said.

Witnesses said an 18-wheeler narrowly dodged the white SUV, and a few other cars managed to swerve out of the way before it slammed into the work truck, at full speed.

The driver of the SUV was dead on impact, while the driver of the work truck later died at a hospital.  The driver of the SUV has been identified as Kevin Butz, 39, of Winter Garden.  The driver of the work truck who died at the hospital has been identified Demetrius Starling, 30, of Winter Park.

"Right now, we don't know why he was doing that -- if it was medical episode, it's intentional, if it's some other kind of health issue -- we don't know," Montes added. "Hopefully, once the medical examiner gets involved, we can rule some things in and out and hopefully determined why he did that."