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Man, Palmetto woman killed in crash

PARRISH — A Palmetto woman died in a head-on, high-speed crash Sunday afternoon on State Road 62 that killed another driver and injured three members of his family.

Janice D. Zonneveld, 59, was named by Florida Highway Patrol investigators at midnight Sunday as the driver of a Ford SUV. She died at the site east of Parrish where the driver of a Dodge pickup came across the center stripe and hit her SUV head-on.

Also killed was James T. Jones, 40, of Avon Park.

His wife, Betty Jones, 36, and sons Curtis Jones, 14, and Jimmy Jones, 3, all were in serious condition late Sunday in hospitals.

Zonneveld lived in the 9300 block of 27th Avenue East, Palmetto.

Her dog, who was in a front seat, died instantly in the grinding crash that destroyed both vehicles, FHP Corporal David Brunner said at the scene.

The collision took place at about 3:30 p.m. east of Parrish near where Corbett John Road intersects with the highway.

At the scene, Brunner said it appeared that a silver Dodge Dakota pickup, driven by Jones, crossed the center line and struck a navy blue Ford Expedition. A Highway Patrol accident report at midnight backed up that judgment, saying the pickup came across the center stripe, that Zonneveld’s SUV adjusted to get out of the pickup’s way, and then the two hit at high speed.

The afternoon crash was so violent it sent the Expedition into a grassy area far off the side of the highway and left the pickup on its top.

The driver and three passengers of the pickup were trapped in the overturned vehicle, and smoke was pouring from the engine, witnesses told investigators.

Debris littered the side of State Road 62 including aluminum cans.

Firefighters from Parrish Fire Control District had to help a tow-truck driver flip the pickup to remove the man.

All five people affected were wearing seat belts, Brunner said.

Shortly after the crash took place, a Manatee County Animal Control officer arrived on scene to assist with the woman’s dog.

The crash caused a fire in the engine of the pickup, but passers-by who stopped to provide aid were able to douse it.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers remained at the scene well into the evening to investigate because of the fatalities involved.

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies also responded to the scene to aid troopers with traffic control. Traffic in both directions was halted for hours as first responders cleaned up the wreckage.