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Missing Florida man injured in Ware accident

Special to SEGAZINE

An elderly man reported missing from his home in Williston, Fla., was injured Thursday when he tried to pass two vehicles on the Valdosta Highway and his car sideswiped an oncoming tractor trailer, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal. Walter Bennett, 78, who had been missing since Tuesday, was evaluated by Ware County Emergency Medical Service technicians, then transported to Mayo Clinic Health System in Waycross for treatment of injuries after the 10:51 a.m. accident, which occurred about a mile and a half east of the Clinch County line, said Royal. Driving a 2004 Mercury Marquis, Bennett was headed east on the Valdosta Highway when he attempted to overtake a tractor trailer driven by Quang Ngoc Vo, 42, of Jacksonville, Fla., and another unidentified vehicle, said Royal. As he was making the pass, a westbound 2006 Freightliner driven by Randolph Stephens, 55, of Attapulgus, approached. Vo saw what was happening and quickly veered his rig onto the shoulder as far off the road as he could to try to prevent the two vehicles to his left from colliding head-on, Royal said. The Bennett car sideswiped the entire left side of the Stephens semi, causing damage to both the car and the tractor trailer.

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