DeFuniak Springs Man Killed In U.S. Highway 331 Crash - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

DeFuniak Springs Man Killed In U.S. Highway 331 Crash

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Photos courtesy: Theresa Brunais Photos courtesy: Theresa Brunais

A DeFuniak Springs man was killed Sunday afternoon when his SUV collided with a semi-tractor trailer rig.

According to a police department news release, the crash occurred at about noon on U.S. Highway 331 near the Interstate 10 overpass.  Police said a 1994 Chevrolet S-10 Blazer driven by Tony Hayes struck the 18-wheeler and became lodged in its undercarriage.  Hayes, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said Hayes was traveling north in the outside lane of U.S. Highway 331 when the semi, driven by Damon Wiggs of South Carolina, exited I-10 to obtain fuel for his rig.  Wiggs, 39, reportedly began to cross the highway and onto the east bound on-ramp.  Wiggs reportedly told police he was driving slowly and saw the SUV, but believed Hayes was going to stop.

Neither Wiggs nor his passenger Darold Grimmett, who was sleeping in the cab of the rig at the time of the crash, was injured.

Vehicles traveling north on 331 were temporarily stopped until the roadway could be cleared.  The DeFuniak Springs Fire Department, Walton Fire Rescue, Walton County Sheriff's Office, and Florida Department of Transportation assisted in traffic control and scene safety.

The Florida Highway Patrol and Medical Examiner's Office are assisting DeFuniak Springs Police with the case and police said charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.

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