Broward County

He exited his stopped truck on the Turnpike. Moments later, his wife saw herself become a widow.

The accident that blocked the northbound lanes of Florida’s Turnpike in Palm Beach County Thursday morning killed two men, one a Davie husband whose life ended in front of his wife.

Lake Worth’s Rodolfo Gonzalez Jr., 41, and Davie’s Ronald Cook, 68, died in the crash just north of the Southern Boulevard exit on the Turnpike, near West Palm Beach. Neither could survive a horrible coalescence of events that occurred around 8:50 a.m.

Cook had pulled his 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck, utility trailer attached, off onto the right shoulder of the northbound lanes. He got out and was next to the trailer while his wife Susan Cook, 64, remained in the truck.

The Florida Highway Patrol release description theorizes that Gonzalez might’ve suffered a medical problem at the wheel of his tractor trailer, causing a swerving off the road. The rampaging vehicle smashed into Ronald Cook and his truck, then continued and struck a chain link fence.

Cook was killed instantly. Gonzalez died at West Palm Beach’s St. Mary’s Hospital later.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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