Man who crashed car hours before Hurricane Idalia's landfall is fourth Florida death

FILE - An unstilted home which came off its blocks sits partially submerged in a canal, in Horseshoe Beach, Fla., Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, two days after the passage of Hurricane Idalia. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

DADE CITY, Fla. (AP) — A fatal single-vehicle crash just hours before Hurricane Idalia made landfall in Florida has been declared the state's fourth death from the Category 3 storm, officials said Monday.

A 40-year-old man driving in heavy rain went off the roadway and hit a tree near Dade City in the Tampa Bay area on Aug. 30, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Hurricane Idalia made landfall later that morning with 125 mph (201 kph) winds across the state in Florida’s remote Big Bend region.

Other Idalia-related deaths in Florida confirmed by the state’s 25 local district medical examiners are a man who died in a traffic crash near Gainesville hours before Idalia made landfall, a windsurfer who went missing that same day off Florida's Space Coast and an older adult who was struck by a falling tree after the storm passed while clearing debris with a tractor.

A man in Valdosta, Georgia, also died when a tree fell on him as he tried to clear another tree out of the road, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff Office.