Fatal Fire Dept Vehicle Incident - Bicyclist dies after crash with FD vehicle


Sunday, December 15, 2013 A Lake County man died Saturday morning after he crossed in front of a Tavares Fire Department truck on State Road 19, officials said.

Earl Dudley, 66, of Tavares was killed in the crash, which happened at 6:49 a.m. at S.R. 19 near Dead River Lake Road, Florida Highway Patrol reported.

FHP identified the driver of the Ford F-250 firetruck as Alan Gagne, 42, of Leesburg.

Gagne was driving south on S.R. 19 in the outside lane approaching Dead River Road, FHP said.

City of Tavares spokeswoman Joyce Ross said Gagne, a battalion chief at Tavares Fire Rescue, was driving back to the fire station after helping Lake County firefighters at an earlier incident.

"He had a green light and was proceeding through the intersection at S.R. 19 and Dead River Road when the bicyclist crossed in front of the truck," Ross said.

Dudley's bicycle collided with Gagne's Ford F-250 as he rode the bike across S.R. 19 in a "westerly direction," an initial FHP crash report said.

Dudley failed to yield the right of way to the truck, FHP said.

The left front of the Ford F-250 hit the right side of the bike.

The Ford F-250 came to a rest in the southbound lane near the west shoulder facing south.

The bike came to a rest on top of the concrete median.

Dudley ended up in the southbound lanes of S.R. 19. He was rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center and was later pronounced dead.

Gagne was not hurt, FHP said.

"As is city policy, employees involved in any type of accident have blood samples drawn and tested," Ross said. "Results are pending."

FHP investigated the crash at the request of city officials. FHP Sgt. Kim Montes said FHP determined that Gagne was not at fault and could not have stopped in time to avoid the crash. He will not face charges.