Three Seriously Injured In Highway 97 Crash (Updated With Names)

March 1, 2012

Three people were seriously injured in a near head-on wreck south of Walnut Hill Wednesday night.

The accident happened about 10 p.m. on Highway 97 just south of Tungoil Road. The Florida Highway Patrol said a 2010 Chrysler 300 sedan driven by Kenneth Ray Spivey,71, of Molino was traveling northbound in the southbound lane of Highway 97 as a Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by Guy E. Giancola, 65, was traveling southbound in the southbound lane. Giancola swerved to avoid the impact, but the front left of both vehicles collided.

The car came to rest in the southbound lane of Highway 97; the pickup came to rest in a nearby ditch.

For more photos, click here.

All three people  in the crash– two in the pickup and one in the car — were trapped in their vehicles. First responders were forced to use the Jaws of Life to free them. All three were transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola.

Giancola and his 63-year old passenger, Gail L. Giancola, were listed in serious condition Friday morning at Sacred Heart Hospital.  Spivey, who was also seriously injured, was charged with driving on the wrong side of the roadway, according to FHP.

Highway 97 was shutdown for over an hour due to the crash.

The Walnut Hill, McDavid and Molino stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, Escambia County EMS, Santa Rosa County EMS and Atmore Ambulance also responded to the accident.

Pictured top: One person was trapped in this car in a two-vehicle wreck Wednesday night on Highway 97 near Walnut Hill. Pictured above: Firefighters use the Jaws of Life to free two people from this pickup. Pictured below: Authorities said the driver of this pickup cross the center line into the path of the car. photos, click to enlarge.


23 Responses to “Three Seriously Injured In Highway 97 Crash (Updated With Names)”

  1. sh on March 2nd, 2012 11:42 pm

    If you look at the photos, you can clearly see why newer vehicles are so much safer than the older ones with a ridged frame.
    The front end absorbed the impact and the passenger compartment is relatively intact. They build “Crumple zones” or weak spots in to newer cars to give and soften the sudden stop, unlike the older ones.
    Most likely ,a wreck like this in older vehicles would of resulted in a fatality. I will here old timers talk about “They don”t build them like they use too”. That can be a good thing.

  2. EMD on March 2nd, 2012 12:05 am

    WHY so many accidents at and near Tungoil Road?

  3. lopki on March 1st, 2012 10:41 pm

    Maybe they should put passing lanes in a few spots or if you really want people to be more cautious put in a few roundabouts. That would slow ‘em down! :-)

  4. Shela on March 1st, 2012 9:35 pm

    It is easy to set at home on your computer and say what should be done or should have been done. But if you weren’t there how do you know what happened. My prayers go out to the people in both cars and their familys.

  5. molino jim on March 1st, 2012 8:20 pm

    While it would be nice to have a large number of LEO’s on 97 and just about every other road in the county—-where is the money going to come from to pay them? No one wants to raise taxes and most departments have had to cut back on the number of officers they have. Budget cuts is the cry — but the public wants more service. I recall the FHP had a “wolf pack” working the 29 and Molino Rd. a while back. I stop to talk with one of the officers I know and he said they were writing tickets as hard as they could. The speeds ranged from 65 to one for 87 mph in a zone with a flashing light and all. One driver was stopped again the same day for speeding in Cantonment. I guess the first ticket didn’t impress him.

  6. Thom on March 1st, 2012 6:05 pm

    I also agree with David Green. If shoplifters in stores even THINK they are being watched…they most likely WON’T steal. I said “most likely” because there are always those that are just plain stupid or don’t care (or am I being redundant?). Officer presence does cut down on misbehavior.

  7. SOFLOGRL on March 1st, 2012 5:31 pm

    We love you Gail and Guy I know you will be ok!!! Keeping you in our prayers, as well as the other driver!!!! :)

  8. for more FOLLOWING THE LAW on March 1st, 2012 5:01 pm

    I agree David.

    There is way too much speediing and passing in dangerous ways and cutting in on other drivers, going on on hwy 97, surely need more following the law and if not TICKET THEM! THIS WOULD SAFE LIVES! ( not speaking about this accident, don’t really know what caused the driver to be on the wrong side of the road)

  9. dolores on March 1st, 2012 3:43 pm

    everyone on here is right, i am in my 60’s and i notice i dont see as well driving at night as i use to, my husband in his 70’s doesnt either, in fact i notice he rides the center line and i have mentioned this to him and i watch and tell him to move over. so age is a factor. now, onto the road, it is just plain dangerous. there are places where you cannot pass , but that does not stop people from passing. and the speed limit is 55 but most do 65-70. so you take a dangerous , dark road and add people passing when they should not and speeding. add all these things together and you get people killed. if speed limits are enforced people will slow down, older people need to be tested for night vision, not just day vision. and we definately need a light at the intersection of 97 and 29. saying all that, i hope everyone in this accident is ok.

  10. molino jim on March 1st, 2012 11:53 am

    @David—sorry— but I have to disagree with you on this. That roadway north bound has a slight drift to it that can cause you to drive into the south bound lane . Add darkness and the possibility of speed and other factors and wrecks happen. Drivers will not slow down. There had to be a law passed to make drivers move to the left at an accident scene for the safety of officers and rescue personnel. As soon as many drivers are pass an accident they speed up and will exceed the posted speed. In the a/m on 97 at the school there is a 20 mph flashing light— north bound drivers going to the school will get into the lane to turn in and pass the traffic on 97 north bound. To many drivers are just pushing their luck.

  11. Suzi Beck on March 1st, 2012 11:49 am

    Lighting along the road in a lot of thoses areas may help some along with some traffic lights on cross roads. Having to break the speed for a traffic light would make drivers more aware and not just cruise faster down that road. We chose not to celebrate New Year’s Eve at the casino due to these accidents being so frequent. My daughter does not drink and would have driven and we hardly drink at all, but it just wasn’t worth it. It is so dark on many parts of it. These accidents are always MAJOR and the vehicles are destroyed. Hope these people are ok.

  12. JM on March 1st, 2012 11:48 am

    The only thing that would stop the accidents on 97 is for the FHP to sit on that
    that highway on a permanent basis. To many drivers have a total disrespect
    for the rules of the road (speed and yellow lines).
    I hope all three of these people will be well soon, from the looks of those vehicles they are all lucky to be alive.

  13. Beulah girl on March 1st, 2012 10:56 am

    A lot of things happen because of age…but like I said hoping for a speedy recovery

  14. Levi on March 1st, 2012 10:37 am

    The last thing needed is an increased presence of law enforcement it’s not like it used to be police now seem to want to abuse what “power” we as a society allow them to have….increase in patrol equals increase in revenue for the state and county as well as the potential abuse of power…why do people always look for an arm of the government to make them feel “safer” when the only requirement for safety is common sense….

  15. David Huie Green on March 1st, 2012 10:03 am

    “How do you figure that “more patrols in the area” equate to less accidents?”

    Two reasons come to mind.
    1. People drive more carefully if they know they’re being watched. This is why patrols should be as visible as possible.
    2. Law enforcement can stop those who are driving recklessly.

    People seldom have wrecks the first time they drive recklessly. If they were stopped before the wreck, the wreck wouldn’t have a chance to happen.

    David contemplating the benefits of law enforcement

  16. Allyson on March 1st, 2012 8:54 am

    That looks like the same car that almost hit me as I was heading home up hwy 97 only about 30 minutes before this happened! And it was the same situation with me, they were driving in my lane and I had to swerve to miss them! Scared the mess out of me. I’m so thankful I got home safe! Definitely will be praying for all of them!

  17. Angela on March 1st, 2012 8:07 am

    Age don’t have anything to do with sight. There are people with bad eye sight from 1yr to 99. Night time driving is some what difficult for a lot of people, because people blind you with their bright lights. And there are more wrecks in people from 16- 24. Just pray for them to have a speedy recovery….just saying…

  18. Beulah girl on March 1st, 2012 7:46 am

    Ya know when u get to a certain age, your eye sight is not that great especially on a dark road like that. Just saying…hope all involved will recover quickly.

  19. Patriot on March 1st, 2012 7:37 am

    How do you figure that “more patrols in the area” equate to less accidents?

  20. me on March 1st, 2012 7:24 am

    This is getting to be an every morning headline…wrecks in that area…seems as though Florida would put more patrol in that area

  21. well on March 1st, 2012 5:05 am

    Us and our driving.

    Prayers for all involved!

  22. Molino girl on March 1st, 2012 12:33 am

    Prayers everyone ends up safe! Lord be with these 3 and their families

  23. on February 29th, 2012 10:36 pm

    Yea it’s major im sitting here in the line of cars waiting. I hope everyone is alright. Prayers going up. Take your time emergency responders get everyone out safe.

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