Crash halts US-1 traffic for more than 2 hours


400-BLUE-LIGHTS-PATROL-CARCharges are pending, according to the traffic homicide report forwarded to Historic City News last night, after a two-car collision left two men injured, one critically, and a female passenger who died at the scene.

Trooper Christopher Conrad reported to Historic City News that the violent crash had northbound lanes of US-1 closed for well over two hours until approximately 8:45 p.m. last night.

A 2003 Buick Century driven by 84-year-old William Edward Sopper, who resides at 416 Outer Drive in State College, Pennsylvania, was traveling southbound on US-1 at about 6:13 p.m. when he turned in front of an approaching northbound vehicle.

The investigation revealed that Sopper was attempting to turn onto Southwood Lake Drive from the turning lane on US-1 South.

The northbound vehicle, a 2005 Honda Accord driven by 19-year-old Anthony Gomez of St Augustine, struck the passenger side of Sopper’s vehicle with enough force to push Sopper’s vehicle back in a northeast direction, and then cause it to overturn onto its roof.

The passenger in Sopper’s vehicle, 89-year-old Catherine M. Smith, who lived at 928 Ridgewood Lane in St Augustine, was dead by the time St Johns County emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene, according to Matthew Sara.

Sopper was stabilized for transportation and then air-lifted to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center Trauma Unit.

Trooper Conrad reported to Historic City News that alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the crash and that all three persons involved were wearing their seatbelts at the time the collision occurred.