1 Dead, 1 Critically Injured in Florida's Turnpike Crash After Driver Noticed Cat, Walked On Road: FHP

The driver of the second car died following the crash, the agency said

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013  |  Updated 2:33 AM EDT
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All lanes are blocked during rush hour on Florida’s Turnpike northbound after a crash beyond Sample Road Monday.

All lanes are blocked during rush hour on Florida’s Turnpike northbound after a crash beyond Sample Road Monday.

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A driver who walked onto Florida's Turnpike because of a cat was critically injured when he was struck by the driver of another car who ended up dying because of the crash, authorities said.

Both people were taken to Broward Health North after the crash,  which happened on the northbound Turnpike south of the Sawgrass Expressway at about 5:16 p.m. The driver of a 2010 Honda Accord was pronounced dead there at 6:03 p.m. but has not been identified pending family notification, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Michael James Schneider, 35, who stopped his 2003 Toyota Tundra after noticing the cat, is in critical condition at the hospital, the agency said.

Schneider pulled off the roadway, walked back to the area of the cat and entered the road, the FHP said. After the Honda hit Schneider, it continued with him on its hood before it veered right and struck the right rear of his parked Toyota. The Honda also hit the guardrail, causing Schneider to be thrown onto the grass shoulder, the FHP said.

The crash brought rush-hour traffic on the highway to a standstill as all northbound lanes were blocked afterward. Traffic was diverted off at Sample Road before the lanes re-opened at 8:55 p.m.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, the FHP said.

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