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Truck hits SUV, killing its driver

The Highway Patrol says the truck driver, who was flown to a hospital, will face charges.

By JONATHAN ABEL
Published March 16, 2007


RIDGE MANOR - Richard Lowe was driving his flatbed Chevy to market Thursday morning, with one passenger and a load of produce.

The 67-year-old Lowe rumbled north along U.S. 301, past Knoxville Drive, north of State Road 50.

For some reason, according to the Florida Highway Patrol, Lowe took his truck into oncoming traffic.

It was 8:20 a.m.

Dean Elmquist, 53, was coming the other direction in his Ford Escape sport utility vehicle.

They collided and Elmquist's SUV flipped over.

Elmquist, of Webster, died at the scene.

Lowe, from Lake Panasoffkee, was not wearing a seat belt. He was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in serious condition.

His passenger, Misty Schaub, 29, of Summerfield, was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

FHP spokesman Larry Coggins said charges were pending against Lowe, though alcohol was not thought to be involved in the crash.

Lowe was cited for careless driving in 2002 and 2003, according to records from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In 2005 he received a speeding ticket for driving 72 mph in a 45 mph zone.

Parts of U.S. 301 were closed down for 21/2 hours, Coggins said.

Produce from Lowe's truck was scattered all over the road.

Times researcher Angie Drobnic Holan contributed to this report. Jonathan Abel can be reached at jabel@sptimes.com or 352 754-6114.