Post-Irma inoperable traffic lights on U.S. 301 lead to collision that kills Mississippi man

A Mississippi man was killed in an accident early Tuesday after traffic lights were inoperable due to Hurricane Irma in a Marion County intersection.

A man was killed when his truck collided with a trailer being towed by a semi early Tuesday morning on U.S. 301.

A man was killed when his truck collided with a trailer being towed by a semi early Tuesday morning on U.S. 301.

At 3:20 a.m. the unidentified 59-year-old from Coffeeville, Miss. was driving a 2011 Ford F-250 south on U.S. 301 in the outside lane approaching the intersection with SE 132nd Street Road, where traffic signals were inoperable due to Hurricane Irma, according to a Florida Highway Patrol accident report.

Tommy E. Ratton, 30, of Lake Alfred was driving west on SE 132nd Street Road approaching the intersection with U.S. 301 in a Peterbilt truck towing a trailer, when both drivers failed to come to complete stops, causing the Mississippi man’s vehicle to collide with Ratton’s attached trailer’s right side. The unidentified man’s vehicle became entangled under Ratton’s trailer as it rotated clockwise across the grassy median, coming to final rest after the vehicle was released from under the trailer during the rotation.

The unidentified driver was pronounced dead at 3:33 a.m. on the scene.



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  1. Linda Helmbrecht says

    Sad tragedy. With it being dark and the drivers possibly unfamiliar with that area, didn’t realize a traffic light was there(?!?!) I myself am not familiar with all areas so it could happen to anyone. JS

  2. Paul Donovan says

    Neither one of them probably expected another vehicle out there at that time. Truly a tragedy but people need to be extremely cautious after a hurricane until power gets restored.

    • Christine Garbett says

      Very sad. We witnessed many vehicles yesterday not stopping on Morse lights at Morse/San Marino as we were attempting to turn right. Also had idiots honking horn behind us as we stopped at non-working lights elsewhere when obeying four way stop.

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