The PCSO Traffic Unit is investigating a fatal vehicle versus pedestrian crash that occurred around 2:30 a.m. this morning (10-5-21) in Fort Meade. Preliminary details are as follows:
Around 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, ECC received a 911 call in reference to a pedestrian who was struck by a truck and trailer on U.S. 17 about a mile south of C.R. 460 in the Homeland area of Fort Meade. The investigation revealed that 72-year-old Vernal Beckford of Fort Meade was walking south on the edge of the roadway with his back to on-coming traffic. Beckford possibly stumbled into the lane of traffic and into the path of a 2007 International truck towing a box trailer driven by 33-year-old Cainyn Cooper of North Port, Florida.
Mr. Cooper was uninjured and immediately stopped to render aid and call 911.
Mr. Beckford died at the scene.
The roadway was dark at the time of the crash, and Mr. Beckford was wearing dark colored clothing. No charges are expected.
Southbound U.S. 17 was closed in both directions for approximately 3 hours during the investigation, which remains on-going.