Published - July, 17, 2005
Driver killed in fiery collision
Other driver in serious condition

Amy Sowder

Troopers on the scene of a fatal accident Saturday on 297-A near Camero Lane.


One driver was killed and another driver was critically injured Saturday evening in a two-vehicle collision that caused the car involved to burst into flames on County Road 297A in the Pine Forest area, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

Troopers said the driver of the car that caught fire was burned beyond recognition.

The other driver, Arthur E. Wolf, 59, of Bristol Park Drive in Cantonment, was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to West Florida Regional Medical Center, where he was listed in serious condition, according to an accident report.

Troopers arrived at the scene at 5:03 p.m., within five minutes after receiving the call.

At 5:30 p.m., smoke was still billowing from the charred sedan that appeared to have been traveling southeast on County Road 297A when it smashed into the driver's side of Wolf's sport utility vehicle traveling northwest, just east of Eleven Mile Creek in front of the Ashbury Hills subdivision.

Investigators said that the sedan driver had crossed the center line, entering the northbound lane. Wolf hit the brakes and steered to the east shoulder, where the sedan collided with his SUV.

The two wrecked vehicles were surrounded by Florida Highway Patrol cars and fire trucks from Beulah, Ensley and Bellview volunteer fire departments as other motorists lined the county road from Pine Forest Road to the roadblock, starting west of Camero Lane.

"It's not a pretty sight," said Beulah Volunteer Fire Department member Gavin Price as he walked away from the smoking wreckage. "There have been so many horrendous, high-speed wrecks recently. It's weird."

Price, who has been a volunteer with the department for 28 years, said he has seen five traffic-related deaths in Beulah this year so far, the highest number he can remember.

The speed limit is 45 mph on the curving part of the county road where Saturday's collision occurred, and troopers have clocked drivers speeding more than 25 mph over the limit.

Wal-Mart assistant manager Wayne Burkett, 56, was one of the many halted drivers. Burkett resides in the Ashbury Hills subdivision near the accident scene.

"People just fly down this road," Burkett said before he attempted to take a detour. "It's dangerous."