Three Injured In Head-on Highway 97 Crash In Walnut Hill

June 21, 2024

Three people were injured in a headp-on crash Friday afternoon on Highway 97 in Walnut Hill, and state troopers say criminal charges are pending.

The Florida Highway Patrol said a northbound pickup truck driven by a 59-year old Pensacola man was traveling into the southbound lane, hitting another pickup head-on near the Walnut Hill Community Center.

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to extricate the passenger in the northbound picku that  was airlifted to Sacred Heart Hospital, as was the driver of the other pickup in second Airare medical helicopter. Both were from Camden, Alabama.

The driver of the southbound truck was transported by Escambia County EMS to an area hospital.

FHP said no one in the crash was wearing a seat belt.

For more photos, click here.

The Walnut and McDavid stations of Escambia County Fire Rescue, Escambia and the Atmore Fire Department also responded, along with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office.

Highway 97 was completely closed by the crash for about two hours. photos, click to enlarge.


16 Responses to “Three Injured In Head-on Highway 97 Crash In Walnut Hill”

  1. John in walnut hill on June 23rd, 2024 1:48 pm

    Just so you all know a tractor or slower moving type of equipment has the right of way before you as a motorist, in Florida as well as in Alabama. They do not have to let you pass, they do so out of courtesy. Its 55mph on 97 most of the way, you got to slow down at Ernest ward and the Mennonite school 35mh to 45mph, then slow down for Molino park school 45mph. Every week i travel that road, i can be going 55-60mph and still be tailgated and passed. FHP could fill their yearly quota just patrolling 97 from hwy 4 down.

  2. FireKat on June 23rd, 2024 2:36 am

    I travel that road a lot and I see people passing on a double yellow just about every time I go to work. Lately I’ve been getting behind people who drive below speed limit or men driving tractors and not moving over to the shoulder to left us pass. We need more cops patrolling 97 catching the people who drive below and above speed limit. Hwy 97 is busy enough that it needs alternate double lanes. Something has to be done with Skippers Hill too.

  3. MR REALITY on June 22nd, 2024 3:25 pm

    Just close the road….

  4. Bella on June 22nd, 2024 2:03 pm

    While I was in Texas a few years ago I was driving on a lot of 2 lane road. They had paved shoulders. A lot of considerate drivers would move onto the shoulder when you approached them from behind. After you had passed, they would move back into the driving lane. That really impressed me. It takes courtesy, patience and awareness of your surroundings. Too many drivers only care about themselves. You are just in their way.

  5. Greg on June 22nd, 2024 12:57 pm

    One of the biggest problems on 97 is the people doing 40 on a highway that’s 55 mph. Long lines of cars get behind this slow poke then someone at the end wants to pass. If your not in a hurry PULL OVER or turn on a side road and let the people pass. I have done this several times *although I do 55. I see a person behind me getting impatient so I turn off when I can perhaps saving their life, mine and oncoming traffic. I saw my dad do this years ago rather than upset the people behind him and himself and remembered his good example. Have some consideration if not for others lives, then atleast for your own.

  6. Jim on June 22nd, 2024 11:18 am

    It still amazes me that, in this day and age, people won’t wear seatbelts. So often, these life-altering or life-ending incidents would be nothing more than a wild story to be told a few months on.

  7. John in Walnut Hill on June 22nd, 2024 10:59 am

    I had just wanted my girls and wife just two weeks ago about something just like this. As I’m pulling out of Wiggins Lake Rd and heading south to go to post office a pick up truck just like the dark one in this pic swerved into the southbound lane as he was heading north. It happened just as you get to the bottom of the hill past Wiggins Lake RD. If I hadn’t seen him and got off to the right into the grass we would have had a head on collision too. He left and continued driving northbound and swerving back and forth across the yellow lines. These are the quiet things that happen when few are there to see it except you and the irresponsible criminally negligent driver

  8. Niknak50 on June 22nd, 2024 10:15 am

    Not a bad idea to four lane 97 but how many years to do it is the kicker.
    Judging by current rates of construction you’re looking at 15 plus years at the current rate. IMO

  9. Gobble on Gobbler Rd on June 22nd, 2024 9:57 am

    I agree with all of the above, however, how about the state make this a 4 LANE HIGHWAY? This would let the slower people stay in the right lane and the NASCAR drivers can fight over the left lane. There is so much traffic throughout the day and there is not enough police/sherriff/state troopers to patrol it 24/7. Escambia county is way too large for that!

  10. Lou on June 22nd, 2024 9:22 am

    We travel this road frequently……there are at least two kind of driving hazards on 97… either they are going 45 in a 55 or 70 and above in a 55. The slow drivers are just as hazardous!

  11. The Culture of Recklessness on June 22nd, 2024 8:50 am

    The Culture of Recklessness (and carelessness) is back!

    And I 100% agree with the previous posting writers. Traffic law enforcement is simply not conducted at the level it should be. Speeding, signaling, traffic light running, broken head and tail lights, and of course, recklessness.

    Without adequate enforcement, the culture thrives. And we all pay for it in insurance, injuries, and lives.

  12. anne on June 22nd, 2024 8:43 am

    Both drivers driving without seatbelts. Hefty fines should be enforced when an accident occurs and injuries could have been avoided. Helicopter rides aren’t cheap.

  13. Eric on June 22nd, 2024 8:28 am

    This road needs to be patrolled every day, and I agree the sheriff office makes their self known from time to time but this has got to be done everyday.

  14. ThePreachersWife on June 21st, 2024 11:30 pm

    About a year ago the sheriff’s office made themselves known and took care of things…Then they disappeared again. We live on 97. It is the norm to speed and pass on double yellow.

  15. Northender on June 21st, 2024 8:57 pm

    @Kevin in Bratt. Absolutely. Never any law enforcement presence on 97. FHP is too busy sitting in Cantonment.

  16. Kevin in Bratt on June 21st, 2024 7:50 pm

    Happens on this road ALL THE TIME… speeding and passing on a double yellow on the corner. No one cares about speed limits or allowing anyone to get to their families safely. Always “I gotta get to where I’m going and you’re slowing me down”. If the person passed on a double line, pull his license. Enough is enough