Okeechobee woman identified as victim of Christmas day crash on SR 70

HIGHLANDS COUNTY – The Florida Highway Patrol has identified Maggie Lara, 46, as one of the victims of a fiery head-on crash on State Road 70 on Dec. 25.

Four people were killed shortly after noon on Dec. 25 in a traffic accident on State Road 70 just west of 9-mile Grade. FHP investigators say a 2011 Buick Lacrosse with a male driver (whose name has not yet been released) drove westbound in the eastbound lane, passing other westbound traffic as they approached a curve. The Buick collided with an eastbound 2006 Toyota, in the eastbound lane of SR 70.

The Buick overturned into the ditch on the south side of the roadway and was engulfed in flames.

Ms. Lara was a passenger in the Buick. She died at the scene.

The Buick’s driver, who also died at the scene, has been identified by the FHP, but FHP has not released the name to the press, pending notification of next of kin.

The driver of the Toyota was identified as Judy Mounts, 56, of Port Saint Lucie, and her passenger was identified as Destiny Franz, 16, of North Fort Myers. Both were killed in the crash.

Traffic was shut down in both directions for several hours as rescue workers and investigators worked the scene.

The driver of the Buick has yet to be identified, and investigators are asking anyone with information on the identity of the male driver, his female passenger or the crash to contact the Florida Highway Patrol at 239-938-1800.

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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