Racing may have contributed to Chiefland wreck

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By Jeff M. Hardison

A 44-year-old Chiefland man died March 10, when he was involved in a single-vehicle accident on Southwest Fourth Avenue west of Tenth Street in Chiefland, according to Florida Highway Patrol Cpl. Rodney Howard.

Michael Gene Allen was driving a 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix LE south (west) on State Road 345 at a high rate of speed at about 7:35 Monday night, Howard said.

For an unknown reason, the car began to rotate counterclockwise onto the north shoulder of the road, where it hit a power pole and guide wire with its right side, Howard said. It made a complete rotation and went northeast across Southwest Tenth Street and struck a tree on the north shoulder of SR 345, east of Tenth Street, Howard said.

The Pontiac separated from the tree and came to rest facing northeast on the north shoulder of SR 345. Levy County Emergency Medical Services personnel pronounced Allen, who was not wearing a seatbelt, dead on the scene, Howard said.

Chiefland Police Chief Robert Douglas said speed was definitely a factor. "Seems to me from what my officers said at the scene," Douglas said, "witnesses told them there were two vehicles headed west (south) on 345 at a very high rate of speed, and when it came back at a high rate of speed there was only one vehicle."