Three People Killed In Highway 97 Crash Saturday Afternoon

November 28, 2021

Three people lost their lives in a tragic two vehicle Highway 97 crash Saturday afternoon.

The head-on type collision between a Toyota Corolla and a SUV occurred just before 3 p.m. on Highway 97 about a mile north of Dogwood Park. The engine compartment of SUV caught fire after the crash.

Two people were pronounced deceased at the scene Two others were airlifted to a Pensacola hospital, with one of them passing away later.

The driver of the Toyota Corolla, a 40-year old male from Waverly Hall, Georgia, was one of those pronounced deceased at the scene. The Florida Highway Patrol said he was northbound on Highway 97 and collided with a southbound SUV.

The 39-year old female driver of the SUV and a 18-year old male were killed. A 37-year old male passenger was listed in serious condition. All three were from Memphis, Tennessee.

Highway 97 remained closed into the evening for the Florida Highway Patrol’s crash investigation. FHP no longer releases the names of traffic crash victims.

The Molino, Walnut Hill and McDavid stations of Escambia Fire Rescue, Escambia County EMS and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

Pictured above and bottom: A tragic triple fatality crash on Highway 97 Saturday afternoon. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge. Pictured first below: NorthEscambia.com reader submitted photo shows the scene moments after the crash.

Comments

59 Responses to “Three People Killed In Highway 97 Crash Saturday Afternoon”

  1. Dean on December 6th, 2021 5:20 pm

    Regardless of the cause of this accident, there has been a HUGE increase in in poor driving nationwide, ever since early 2020: From tailgating (the most common) to texting, speeding, & racing in traffic. The police have an increased workload due to processing accidents, which means less patrolling, which means more accidents, which means less patrolling, etc.

    My rules:

    1. Pull over & let tailgaters pass. Then, you can be a witness in the negligent driving trial when they hit the next car in front of you.
    2. Talking to people in your car or on the phone (even if hands-free) is a distraction. Stay alert.
    3. Consider the driving conditions, & don’t drive on “automatic pilot”.
    4. Drive defensively, like everyone is out to kill you. I’ve been run off the road twice in the last year by people just not paying attention.

  2. Misty Crisman on December 2nd, 2021 11:41 pm

    I’m the mother of the 18 yr old that died. This has been a very tragic accident. Too many lives were lost. Plans that won’t happen, Christmas’s that will be forever changed. My son was just starting his life. Thankfully he was able to see his family and do most of the things he wanted while he was home from college. Things like this should make everyone think a little more and drive a little slower. We can’t blame anyone, because we weren’t there. The whole family has a long difficult road ahead and we just need prayers as we try to navigate life without the most important people to us. I’m completely heartbroken for the loss of my son, who leaves behind many grandparents, aunts, uncles and 4 brothers and a sister that will miss him terribly.

  3. Sheila Hubbird on December 2nd, 2021 6:31 am

    How many more lives will be lost before they do the obvious and four lane 97.
    I drive the long way around if I have to go to Pensacola. Cut across to Hwy 29 to avoid dangerous drivers on 97.
    Many lives could be saved by four lane Hwy 97

  4. Kim Hill on December 2nd, 2021 3:57 am

    Amber
    I am the mother of the young man that survived …
    he is recovering and physically healing…
    he had two surgeries to repair the damage ….
    He is a minister with his church …
    .his wife and boys were all very involved in their church .
    His faith is strong so I know with time we will all heal…
    but this isn’t the only tragedy we have suffered
    we lost another of our grandsons…..his nephew… also just 18… just a year ago also cause of car wreck….
    Anyway Amber I wanted to Thank You and others that stopped to help….!!!
    Thank you all So Very Much …!!!

  5. Jeremy Crisman on December 1st, 2021 3:56 pm

    I would like to thank everyone for praying for my family as we go thru this difficult time.. The 18 year old was my nephew.. The 39 ur old woman was his step mother..The man critically injured is his father.. He is expected to make a recovery..

  6. A on December 1st, 2021 12:56 pm

    We pulled up ab 15 minutes after the accident. I knew it was bad. I can’t stop thinking of the families that lost people they loved and I just keep praying for them. I took the most beautiful picture just minutes before I pulled up on the accident of a rainbow wrapping around the sun in a full circle. I was listing to a Christmas station and oddly enough “Amazing Grace” followed by “How Great Thou Art” came on as I was sitting there. I couldn’t help but get emotional thinking about these victims and their families. I’m thankful reading these comments that they knew the Lord. Praying for everyone!

  7. Looking Around on November 30th, 2021 8:25 pm

    Since many drivers cannot handle the 55 mph maximum speed limit, lower the speed limit on sections where accidents happen most frequently, and enforce it.

    Another possibility is rumble striping the center line.

    But the real problems are speeding, distracted driving, and aggressive driving. The curves and hills on this highway, combined with poor driving, is creating a dangerous combination of risks.

  8. Tina on November 30th, 2021 4:02 pm

    I do not live there and apparently neither do the victims. They may not be familiar with the fact that this is a “drag strip”. Also, to the one that crossed the center line, wasn’t he the only one in the car? So who saw him texting or playing with a radio? Oh, nobody…it’s just people making accusations. Here’s a possibility…did he have a medical condition which may have caused him to lose consciousness? This world is so full of evil keyboard warriors that can’t make it in a face to face conversation. Prayers to all involved. They were all humans and all had family who miss them.

  9. Meadow lewis on November 30th, 2021 2:45 pm

    I’m praying for Mrs Hill’s family, she was the lady that died in the crash. Her son is my friend and i pray for him and i know God is here for him and he will help him

  10. Meadow lewis on November 30th, 2021 1:39 pm

    I send my prayers for the family of Mrs. Amanda Hill (which was the woman that died in the accident), and i pray for my friend JD, her son! He is my friend and i hope that he gets through this horriable situation peacefully. I know that God will help JD through this and that I hope JD is ok.

    Love you JD, I’m praying for you

  11. Amber Alford on November 29th, 2021 9:22 pm

    Wowwww the comments on here are so sad !! Like I said before I was the first on the scene my friend is pictured above !! I was behind the suv and the gentleman (rest his soul ) was going northbound in the southbound lane and who knows the reason of why either way he was someone’s father son brother husband be kind !!! But that’s what happened no if ands or buts about it and if you were not there you have no idea I haven’t been able to even sleep from replaying it over and over in my head I’ve never seen anything like that and having to see what I saw trying to help the family in the suv I could never erase so please be kind it was all so bad and so sad and unbelievable!!! I’m praying so so hard for both families and us who were there just know we did EVERYTHING WE COULD HAVE TO HELP THEM!!

  12. George on November 29th, 2021 8:44 pm

    Every time when I drive that way I never see a patrol car. I think that zone need to be controlled for speed, people drive so fast that way

  13. Very Sad on November 29th, 2021 8:24 pm

    ‘m so sorry to hear about those that lost their life on Hwy 97 Saturday. I have to agree with the other comments about this highway being a race track. I passed through the same area about an hour before the accident and at the same time I had to deal with a person headed toward Atmore direction. This individual was riding my bumper all the way until my husband pulled off to let them pass. They made us a nervous wreck until they got by. NO NEED FOR THIS EVER!! My thoughts and prayers go out to the Families that lost love ones. May God send His Love and Healing powers to help everyone through this sad time. Prayers for healing of the other person injured.

  14. Greg Gay on November 29th, 2021 8:08 pm

    I am the father in law of Adam, the man in the silver car. I dont know who caused the accident but here is what I do know is that Adam was the most amazing father I have possibly ever seen. He was always kind to everyone he spoke to. He was gentle and selfless. He was a doting husband to my daughter and he knew how to make his wife feel loved and special. I also know that he would never hurt another human being. He always wanted to help others, make people feel special about themselves. He must have had 100 best friends. The town he grew up in everyone seemed to know him and love him. The wonderful family in the van, well in any other circumstance Adam would have stopped to change their tire or helped bring them a can of gas if they needed it. He was that kind of person. If he would have survived you bet he would have risked his life to save theirs. He was that kind of human being. If he did hurt anyone I can assure you he would never purposely hurt anyone.

  15. Ryan on November 29th, 2021 3:57 pm

    All I can say is look at the city of gulf breeze. Enforcement of traffic laws does work, and can help reduce crashes. Accidents still happen sometimes right in front of a Leo My sincere condolences to the families. I hope you can find some peace and comfort.

  16. Nola Downey on November 29th, 2021 11:05 am

    I know someone who is related to one of the victims. I was shared this article by his wife my friend. I am appalled at the way some people are reacting and saying all sorts of stuff on this. People lost their lives, stop and let people grieve without this disgusting finger pointing to who or what to blame. Lord some of you need to be a little more compassionate, this is still so very fresh. Please folks…

  17. Charlotte Rebecca Bates on November 29th, 2021 10:23 am

    I agree with the mother of the man that was in the car. Stop your guessing, or passing judgement on what happened. You weren’t there. You don’t know 100% what really happened. This mother is suffering. Her heart is broken, and she’s in pain. I am praying for her and the family. I just wish I could give her a hug right now, and give her some much needed love. No, I don’t know her, but I do know when something like this happens, she needs love, compassion, and understanding. So stop with the guessing and send her some kind words. That is what she needs, not your negative remarks.

  18. Sandi on November 28th, 2021 9:33 pm

    If the only comments you have are negative perhaps you should keep them to yourself. I happen to be the Mother of the man in the silver car, who passed away at the scene and my pain is real. So reading your speculations and comments aren’t very compassionate. Try a little sympathy for those who are hurting already, and save your guessing games for another time and let this thread be supportive for those families grieving .The world could use some kindness

  19. Sterling on November 28th, 2021 8:15 pm

    Maybe a double yellow line should become a guardrail. It won’t bring anyone bac. With all of the near-misses, it sounds like one is needed there. Not only are there terrible driving habits,

  20. Chris on November 28th, 2021 8:07 pm

    A couple people here are spot on. It’s not just the roads. It’s in line at the drivethru, at the supermarket, etc. People are just so impatient and have the mentality that their life, their business, is more important than the next persons. People have turned into horrible creatures per capita. On top of that, you have these new cars that are supposed to be safer however, there are so many gadgets and things to distract a driver from what intended purpose of a vehicle is, to drive ! It’s really ridiculous. Got my wife a new car and had to drive it the other day and had to pull over on Barrineau Road before getting onto 29 just so I could get everything situated for me to drive safely. That being said, there’s no amount of Big Daddy Government you can have to stop this. Stupid people aren’t aware that they are stupid.
    Prayers up for the families and friends of all involved here. Prayers for our first responders who have to witnesses such tragedy and do their job.

  21. LKN on November 28th, 2021 7:03 pm

    Shame on you people blaming the drivers. Unless you know what happened shut-up.
    And maybe then still keep your mouths shut. Have you no empathy? Literally making me sick.

  22. Rj on November 28th, 2021 6:50 pm

    Ryan , I travel this road often and yes some of the drivers are promoting offensive driving habits . However , I’ve recently witnessed FHP and ECSO at different locations multiple times with customers pulled over lately . However , I can agree the hwy needs to be patrolled more , but with only so many officers/units aloted per area , they can only do so much ( in their defense) . I had to break many times myself recently in a hazmat placarded cmv and I understand your feelings . Perhaps , sheriff Simmons could provide reserves to eliminate the speeders on hwy 97 . To the families of those lost in the accident , my condolences to you , you’re in our prayers .

  23. Mike on November 28th, 2021 5:17 pm

    My condolences to Ricky and his family/friends. He is a great man and friend. He has been coming to my Firestation every Sunday for close to 20 yrs to spread the gospel and educate us. This is truly a horrible accident that has happened.

  24. Fran on November 28th, 2021 3:34 pm

    I have no idea what or who caused this horrible wreck.But I do know Law Enforcement is not to blame.There are speed limit signs posted and everyone knows what they are.
    It is horrifying that so few obey the law,and as parents if you speed,pass on hills,curves,etc. you are teaching your children it is ok for them to do likewise.
    We can help our Deputies out by driving the speed limit.Leave home a little early so you aren’t rushed. Don’t tailgate,it makes people angry and nervous.
    It’s the Holiday Season,try being a kinder driver,one with more patience.
    And above all remember all these folks in your prayers, I will .

  25. Jeremy Bearden on November 28th, 2021 3:14 pm

    To all of you who have said something supportive and sending condolences for my family members that died in this accident. I thank you for that. My brother and his wife are most certainly a strong positive influence and a huge part of the community in Memphis. I have literally never known anyone more caring and more giving to ANYONE than these two. This is a devastating loss to my family. And Ricky is THE example for everyone in my peer group to look to when it comes to guidance and kindness and doing the right thing. Same goes for his wife. So once again thank you for your support and prayers. They do not deserve to be called idiots for driving their second of 2 sons to go to college in your town. To me that makes them locals and members of your community To any and all of you who have already made some distasteful comments on here please take just a second to imagine your family member being dishonored by some ridiculous comments by stupid people. If you have a problem with your community’s roads, by all means bring up a tragedy like this to who can do something about it via the proper channels. Don’t just gripe about it on here like a jackass. You should be ashamed of your actions.

  26. Dannie Walls on November 28th, 2021 2:45 pm

    I’m going to miss them so much. They were amazing people

  27. Lanette Thompson on November 28th, 2021 2:44 pm

    `Bless the families that are now facing the undaunting task of picking up the peices from this tragity . I know the family of the ones in the SUV. They are beyond tramatized. Prayers going up for both families as they deal with this.

  28. Trimtab on November 28th, 2021 1:44 pm

    Kinda dumb to blame the sheriff for the accident. He’s doing the best he can with limited resources. If you haven’t noticed, he’s advertising heavily for applicants for deputy positions. Even at that, it isn’t possible to put a deputy on every road in the county. Every road has posted speed limits and painted lines. It just seems that too many drivers think the rules don’t apply to them. Please don’t irresponsibly blame the sheriff!

  29. Terri Sanders on November 28th, 2021 1:36 pm

    more LEO…more lights..wider lanes..lower speed limits are not going to prevent these accidents…what will prevent them is if every driver would stop driving detracted and start driving defensively..drive as if every other driver is distracted…expect the car coming towards you to veer off in your lane..expect that car sitting at a crossroad to pull out in front of you.Expect the other cars to speed..run red lights and fail to use caution.expect that car to go straight even if their turn signal is blinking..stop putting on your make up..or taking selfies.stop turning around to whack your kids…drive like your life depends on it…stop texting..stop looking at your phone.. stop reading texts or changing the radio station..PAY ATTENTION to your driving..The life you save could very well be your own.

  30. Heather on November 28th, 2021 12:53 pm

    Speciation doesn’t help. The ones from Memphis have a small church of about 50 people who are devastated by this loss. 1 is a youth pastor, his wife a nursery church teacher any ten their young son. Blame us not what is needed here. We need prayer. Pray for the 1 still alive who lost his family and the families of the other who’s life was lost. These are people who have a lot of grief and need prayer.

  31. Mark on November 28th, 2021 11:37 am

    I am sure sorry to hear about all the injuries and fatalities yesterday. I came on both of the wrecks that happened. My folks live off of that road and we own other property off of that road and are on it every day. I don’t know what the answer is but I dodge cars probably every third time I am on that road whether it be people crossing on a double yellow line or just drifting into my lane. I witnessed my brother in the truck in front of me and in the oncoming lane a car literally pulled off onto the grass to allow the person passing on a double yellow line to get back in the lane to avoid a collision. So many addictive distractions and people are willing to take the risk.

  32. SueB on November 28th, 2021 11:19 am

    It’s not the road, it’s the drivers of the vehicles & trucks not paying attention using cell phones, texting, playing with the radio, speeding to pass a slower vehicle. Double yellow lines are painted on the road for a reason. Driver’s don’t pay attention. Putting in high speed bumps should really make drivers mad. Drivers will have to slow down, or not, then speed up to the next speed bump & slow down again to go over the high speed bump, etc.

  33. Amber on November 28th, 2021 11:08 am

    I was the first on the scene I barley was able to stop from hitting the suv it happened so fast but they didn’t even have a chance the silver car was literally in our lane and boom it happened we was going every bit of 65 mph. All I could hear is help help

  34. Suzy on November 28th, 2021 10:32 am

    People you need to flood the phones of the Sheriff’s office and FHP along with Commisioners and state Officials.. please everyone take time to do this.

  35. Scared on November 28th, 2021 10:04 am

    We have a 5 flag speed way on 97.we have a new sherif an he never has cops on this road.what good is a radar sign.u try an go to 29 from here an hwy 164 is so narrow people run u off the road.how many more deaths is it gona take? If the sherif lived up here he would do something if his family drove this road everyday.even big trucks will pass u on hills an yellow lines.i pray everything I’m on this road an never you see a fhp up here.

  36. BentStraight on November 28th, 2021 10:01 am

    They should OFFICIALLY rename Hwy 97 . . . DEATH HIGHWAY! Maybe that would get peoples attention. And place a death and casualty counter at each end.

  37. Deborah Daugherty on November 28th, 2021 9:43 am

    If you could put up billboards showing pictures of all the fatal wrecks,along with the number of fatalities,which would have to be changed as needed,and as horror as this sounds,show the results of a deceased person mangled in a senseless lack of driving….on that road

  38. Nick on November 28th, 2021 8:41 am

    Use some of that left over Covid money and put up speed cameras every couple miles.

  39. Tiger on November 28th, 2021 8:08 am

    I agree with Ryan 100%.

  40. Mike on November 28th, 2021 7:35 am

    Sorry to say, it doesn’t matter how many lanes are there. The big problem is everyone using cell phones and texting while driving. People just don’t stay in their own lane. I’m constantly watching everyone’s tires when I’m driving. I couldn’t tell you how many times I scoot over so someone can use part of MY lane.

  41. mnon on November 28th, 2021 7:17 am

    Seems like two groups from out of towners who don’t know the road while one of them passed on a double yellow line… that’s not the roads fault that is driver error. If you lived by i-10 you’d be saying how dangerous it is with all the accidents. Accidents happen everywhere on every street but because this is such a long expanse of road ANY accident on it appears we have problems with “the road.”

    There is nothing wrong with the road, the problem is idiot drivers and there are no fixes for that. As soon as you 4 lane 97 this entire strip of road will turn into Johnson Avenue within a decade and I for one live in NE to avoid that.

  42. Billy on November 28th, 2021 6:33 am

    @ Ryan,

    Stop blaming law enforcement. With the number of roadways and calls for service, it is impossible to have an officer on every dangerous road, and we have so many in this county. Both of these vehicles could have been doing to speed limit, one vehicle drifting into the oncoming lane of traffic for whatever reason (i.e. lost and distracted, enjoying the scenery, talking with passengers, looking for an address, etc.). The fact that three people lost their lives is tragic. Maybe as a county, we need to install stop signs or traffic lights.

  43. Russell HELTON on November 28th, 2021 6:18 am

    They think 97 is drag strip , passing when not supposed too , the hills and curves need more signs saying view is blocked , yeah come sit in my driveway,,, every day there passing 3-5 cars at one time ,,, people that travel the toad every day don’t realize how quick the hills and curves get to you

  44. BrewtonRN on November 28th, 2021 4:26 am

    It so sad hearing this. And if I’d have know where the

  45. Ryan on November 28th, 2021 2:14 am

    I’ve been ran off the roadway due to an inattentive driver coming into my lane. The F.H.P. does not Patrol this highway enough, nor does the Escambia county sheriff. It seems that the only time you see law enforcement on hwy 97 is when they are responding to a call. No proactive patrolling. Unfortunately this kind of tragedy will continue until law enforcement actually take it more seriously, and increase some patrols running some radar. They seem to all stay south toward cantonment, and forget about us folks up here. If the motoring public would see a better law enforcement presence I’m sure it would benefit everyone.

  46. Serina on November 28th, 2021 1:47 am

    I live on 97 right by white ash. I wasn’t home for this one. However, the people who live here are tired of seeing people lose their life on this road. Including this wreck, this is the 3rd fatality wreck in the last 6 to 8 months and makes a total of 5 lives. I have lost count on how many in total that were not fatalities. I dodge being rear ended pulling into my own drive way almost daily with my children in the car. I have emailed the esco sheriff’s office personally and nothing has been done except a stupid speeding sign after the last fatality that has not deterred speeding and reckless driving in the slightest. Please slow down and stop passing on this road. We are terrified for your lives and our own. My thoughts are with these people’s families.

  47. AS on November 28th, 2021 1:19 am

    Sending my condolences

  48. Cindylou on November 27th, 2021 11:54 pm

    Another horrific crash on 97 with multiple fatalities during broad daylight in ideal weather conditions.

    We ran across across the other terrible crash a couple of months ago.

    And we ran across this one today, in fact both times we barely missed both of them.

    What is going to take to remedy this dangerous stretch of road

  49. Mike on November 27th, 2021 10:26 pm

    Would be nice if 97 could be 4 Lane so the morons would not pass over double yellow but I know that won’t happen unless people are will to sell some of there land. Really if people would stop doing 90 and trying to pass over a double yellow then more of this would stop coming sense and respect saves lives. Most Everytime I drive 97 mainly near the ATV place I get passed on a double yellow around the curve. There are no police around ever to see this. Please look at all the lives that are lost and could have been avoided if you just slowed down and obeyed the traffic laws you can wait another 2 minutes to pass in a passing zone.

  50. Eric McCowan on November 27th, 2021 9:40 pm

    I live off hwy 97, moved here from Pensacola about 2 weeks ago. People on this road are dangerous, and I mean horribly dangerous. Today, I had a person pass me and another car, with double yellow lines, around a curve … minutes later, this accident happened. Please slow down. I don’t know yall, but your life is still precious.

  51. Skip on November 27th, 2021 9:38 pm

    Everytime I drive, I try to be the pace car out there. I’m not worried about my driving, I’m worried of other’s hitting me. It’s awful out there! My condolences to these families and prayers for healing closure. Such a tragedy

  52. LL on November 27th, 2021 9:22 pm

    I live in the road directly across from the church. My daughter was right in front of the man that was killed. Thankfully she turned off on my road right before this happened. She told me he was driving really fast and riding her bumper the entire time. Too many people are careless with not only their own lives but also those around them.

  53. Frank on November 27th, 2021 9:04 pm

    Sending my condolences and prayers…

  54. Dee on November 27th, 2021 9:01 pm

    Prayers and peace for all involved, no amount of government safety will trump personal choices. It’s not anyones fault but those whom have caused the accident. It’s called personal responsibility and it may have been a medical issue. God calls us home on his terms.

  55. J on November 27th, 2021 8:58 pm

    I was hit head on recently not far from home in an accident that’s left me disabled at a young age, the same age as a couple of the drivers here. I share this bc most of us see reports of accidents and become desensitized and scroll on. Experiencing it for yourself changes your entire outlook. It can happen to anyone. This brings tears to my eyes knowing three lives were lost. My heart breaks for all the family members. May this serve as a reminder to PLEASE pay attention when you’re driving.(not sure that’s the case here-just sharing in general) Nothing-absolutely NOTHING- is worth ending your life, someone else’s life, or spending the rest of your life in horrible physical pain. Prayers for the families tonight as they try navigate through this tragedy.

  56. Paul on November 27th, 2021 8:45 pm

    State needs to four lane this highway, one way or another. Re-route it, or whatever

  57. SF on November 27th, 2021 8:32 pm

    So sad! 97 is dangerous. I worry every single time someone I know has to travel that road. People pass and drive like like they have no sense. I see it it every day. My God! It gets worse and worse

  58. Cynthia C Walsh on November 27th, 2021 8:24 pm

    So tragic for the all who have lost these precious family members and friends. I pray for their comfort. Heartbreaking!!

  59. Momoftwo on November 27th, 2021 8:13 pm

    Prayers for all involved in the accident, and all the first responders!





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