Law enforcement officials closed a portion of U.S. 41 south of Punta Gorda this morning due to a fatal crash.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers are investigating the wreck, which took place around 3:30 a.m. today near Evergreen Avenue — south of Zemel Road. 

According to FHP, an 83-year-old Bradenton man was driving the wrong way on U.S. 41. He was driving a pickup north in the southbound lanes when he collided with another pickup truck. 

The Bradenton man died at the scene.

The other pickup driver, a 16-year-old girl from Evans, Georgia, suffered minor injuries as did her passengers: a 46-year-old woman and a 13-year-old male, all from Evans, Georgia, according to FHP. All three, and the Bradenton man, were wearing seat belts.

Charlotte County Sheriff's officials alerted the public to avoid the area Saturday morning, stating they expected the southbound lanes of U.S. 41 to remain closed for several hours.

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