Early morning crash snarls traffic

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BRIAN HUGHES Crestview Police Department cnbbrian

CRESTVIEW — A two-vehicle traffic accident snarled the morning commute Wednesday, blocking both lanes of southbound State Road 85 just south of the Interstate 10 interchange.

The wreck, which occurred shortly after 7 a.m., involved a Mitsubishi Mirage sedan driven by Joy A. Long, 63, of Crestview and a GMC pickup truck driven by Bruce M. Smith, 30, also of Crestview. The pickup overturned and blocked the left travel lane and part of the right lane. Okaloosa County EMS took one person to North Okaloosa Medical Center with minor injuries.

Southbound traffic on SR 85 backed up for several miles.

“Traffic was backed up all the way to the 85 and (U.S. Highway) 90 intersection when my fiancé went by” about 8:45 a.m., Latrisha Herbert said in a Facebook post to the Crestview Police Department. “Even the back roads were backed up.”

Traffic started moving later when one lane was opened. Okaloosa County road crews responded to repair a 2-inch-deep gash left in the road from where the truck overturned before the second lane was opened.

With limited options, the Antioch Road/P.J. Adams Parkway corridor soon was overwhelmed with motorists seeking alternate routes around the accident scene. Other drivers moved to State Road 285 for the drive south.

“Due to conflicting witness statements, the crash is still under investigation and no citations have yet been issued,” CPD spokesman Brian Hughes said in an email. “Preliminary investigation indicates Long pulled out of the Hardee’s parking lot into the path of Smith, who was traveling southbound on SR 85.”

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