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Three cousins die in Sanford crash; police seek driver

Posted May 29, 2010
Updated May 30, 2010

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— Three cousins died in a crash on Jefferson Davis Highway early Saturday, and Sanford police were searching for the driver of the burgundy Nissan truck, according to a police report.

Edwin Perez Hernandez, who was believed to be in his 20s or 30s, Claudia Baudililo Hernandez, 34, and Fermin Patrocinio Perez, 27, died in the crash, according to police. The cousins all lived at 1212 Burns Drive in Sanford.

"The roof was caved in all the way to the dashboard, down to the backseat,” Capt. David Smith of the Sanford Police Department said.

Crash witness Max Lino said he saw the driver, Hugo Alfredo Hernandez of 1212 Burns Drive, "crawl out of the truck and stagger off toward Spring Lane."

Police said it appeared that the truck was traveling south on Jefferson Davis Highway when it went off the road, skidded down an embankment, overturned twice and ended up on Douglas Drive some time before 1:30 a.m.

"He was going way too fast and jumped the curve,” Lino said.

Lino said after he saw the truck flip, he ran to help. A man, he thinks was the driver, asked him to take the injured home. Lino said he called 911 instead.

"After that, he (the driver) started walking away from the scene,” Lino said.

Smith said two of the victims died at the scene and another died a short time later at Central Carolina Hospital.

Police brought in dogs to try and locate the driver, who is believed to also be badly injured. He has not been found.

If you have any information on Hugo Hernandez's whereabouts, call Sanford police at 919-775-8268.

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