NORTH PORT — A Venice man was killed and a second man hospitalized in critical condition following a head-on crash Monday on River Road.
Two pickups collided on South River Road 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.
The man’s name was not disclosed by investigators under new protocols.
According to the initial report, the Venice man’s vehicle crossed the center line, striking a truck driven by a 44-year-old man from Port Charlotte, the FHP reported.
The Venice man was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Port Charlotte man was taken by Aeromed helicopter to a hospital trauma center.
The road was closed following the crash, and reopened to traffic at about 7:30 p.m.
Rescue agencies from around the region responded to the crash in a curve that has been the scene of several fatal wrecks and other crashes that have led to critical injuries through the years.
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 U.S. 41.
There is no plan in the capital improvements schedule for upgrading.