Dec. 24 CR 581 Triple Fatal

A Toyota SUV and a Kia sedan rest Tuesday afternoon on South Pleasant Grove Road, south of the intersection with East Amy Lane, following a head-on collision that killed three people and seriously injured another.

Editor's Note: This story was updated after the print deadline for Wednesday's edition of the Chronicle.

A Tuesday afternoon head-on crash that ignited a vehicle fire south of Inverness killed three women from southern Florida and hospitalized a Pasco County man with serious injuries.

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) released the identities of the women -- Amalia Gomara, 62, Clara Gorrin, 86, both of Hialeah, and Nilda Cordovi, 85, of Pembroke Pines -- all of who died in the 1 p.m. collision that shuttered South Pleasant Grove Road, or County Road 581, south of the intersection with East Amy Lane.

According to a preliminary FHP crash report, 53-year-old Phillip Sawhill, of Land O' Lakes, was driving a white 2012 Toyota Highlander north on C.R. 581.

At the same time, a Gomara was driving a 2012 Kia Optima south on the roadway. Also in the Kia were two passengers: Gorrin and Cordovi, according to FHP's report.

FHP's report states Sawhill tried to pass other northbound traffic in a no-passing zone of C.R. 581, merged his SUV into the road's southbound lane and collided with the Kia's front.

After the crash, the Toyota came to rest in the road and caught fire, and the Kia spun and stopped along the roadway's shoulder.

According to FHP's report, the Kia's three occupants died at the scene. Emergency responders transported Sawhill to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point for treatment of serious injuries.

It's unknown if alcohol was a factor in the collision, and charges are pending, FHP's report states.

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or bthompson@chronicleonline.com.