HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Fowler Avenue at I-75 in Tampa remains closed Tuesday evening after it was shut down following a fatal crash involving five vehicles, including a tractor-trailer hauling tomatoes.
- Spectrum Bay News 9 Real Time Traffic Map
- At least four vehicles involved in crash
- FHP, Hillsborough Fire Rescue responded to scene
The crash happened just after 4 p.m. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of an SUV entering the northbound entrance ramp to I-75 from Fowler Avenue lost control of the vehicle and rotated across the roadway's northbound lanes.
The vehicle entered the path of the tractor trailer, and the two vehicles collided. The collision sent the tractor trailer into the roadway's center median and the barrier wall along the Fowler Avenue overpass.
The tractor portion of the tractor trailer went over the barrier wall and down to Fowler Avenue, where it landed on a third vehicle. The trailer continued along the barrier wall until it finally fell down onto Fowler, as well, and was struck by a fourth vehicle.
The tractor, still atop the third vehicle, then caught fire and burned for over 20 minutes. The trailer came to final rest across all lanes of Fowler Avenue, spilling its load of tomatoes across the roadway.
Investigators said a fifth vehicle was struck on the southbound side of I-75 when an axle from the tractor trailer separated and entered the southbound lanes.
The driver of the vehicle that the tractor fell on top of suffered fatal injuries in the crash, according to FHP. The occupants of the other vehicles were all transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.
Both roadways remained closed in all directions for several hours following the crash. At 7:30 p.m. the two outside lanes of southbound I-75 re-opened. At 8:45 p.m. the northbound lanes re-opened.
FHP officials said Fowler Avenue will remain closed throughout the night.