ENGLEWOOD — One man was killed and another hospitalized in critical condition following a head-on crash Monday on South River Road.
Two pickups collided on South River Road at about 2:42 p.m., closing the busy road for several hours between U.S. 41 and Winchester Boulevard.
The crash occurred at 2:52 p.m. at the curve in the two-lane portion of the road between East River Road and Winchester Boulevard, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
A 59-year-old man from Venice was southbound in a pickup. He crossed the center line, hitting a truck driven by a 44-year-old man from Port Charlotte, the FHP reported. The Venice man died, while the Port Charlotte man was taken by Aeromed helicopter to a hospital trauma center. The FHP did not name either person involved in the crash.
Several fire and rescue vehicles from the Englewood Area Fire Control district went to the crash. The road was closed following the crash, and reopened to traffic at about 7:30 p.m.
River Road between State Road 776 and Interstate 75 is a busy commuter road that connects Englewood and portions of North Port, including the West Villages communities, with Interstate 75. Most of it is two lanes, although there are some turn lanes in places.
The state of Florida is responsible for most of the road north of U.S. 41 up to I-75. The state plans to widen the road. Sarasota County is responsible for the road between SR 776 and US 41. There is no plan in the capital improvements schedule for upgrading.