Local man killed in accident

OKEECHOBEE — An Okeechobee man died from injuries he received in an accident Monday afternoon on S.R. 70 just west of its intersection with S.R. 710.

A Florida Highway Patrol press release stated Roderick Gene Nielson, 51, died after being airlifted to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center in Fort Pierce.

The FHP release stated Mr. Nielson had stopped his 2002 Mack tractor-trailer rig on the north shoulder of S.R. 70, and he was trying to close the rear door that had swung open and was now blocking the outside lane of the four-lane highway.

As he was trying to shut that door around 5:25 p.m. a 2002 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Carmen Espada, 32, of Okeechobee, struck the door with the right side of her pickup, which then struck Mr. Nielson. That impact then caused Mr. Nielson to strike the right side of his vehicle.

Dispatcher notes from the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office indicates Air Rescue picked up Mr. Nielson at 6:02 p.m. Those same notes state the man died around 6:59 p.m.

According to the FHP release Trooper M. Steele is investigating the crash, while Trooper Corporal G. Shuman is the assigned homicide investigator.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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