TAMPA—Authorities in Florida say one person has died and six more were hospitalized in a fiery eight-car crash that shut down part of an interstate.
News outlets report a tractor-trailer appeared to be burning on the side of Interstate 75 near Tampa on Wednesday night as emergency crews responded.
Pasco Fire Rescue announced on Twitter that firefighters managed to bring the blaze under control. Department photos also showed multiple heavily damaged cars alongside the stretch of highway.
#ALERT: NB I-75 is shut down between Bruce B Downs and SR-56 due to this multiple vehicle crash. Find another route. Pasco County Fire Rescue and @tampafirerescue on scene. #Breaking #PCFRNews pic.twitter.com/OIgcagVyeh
— Pasco Fire Rescue (@PascoFireRescue) November 13, 2019
In addition to the fatality, the agency said six people were transported to a hospital and two others were checked out by emergency crews on scene.
The Tampa Bay Times reported one patient was classified as a “trauma alert.”
I-75 UPDATE: Patient count has been updated to 6 total patients and 1 fatality. Condition update: 1 trauma alert and 5 ALS patients. Taken to St Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa. 75 remains shut down to traffic. Fire is knocked down. PCFR, TFR, and HCFR on scene. pic.twitter.com/N2pJFugfrO
— Pasco Fire Rescue (@PascoFireRescue) November 14, 2019
No one involved was identified by State Highway Patrol troopers.
The agency is investigating.
Fatal Car Crash Statistics
A preliminary estimate of the first half of 2018 (pdf) showed that an estimated 17,120 people died in car crashes from January through June, which would be a decrease of about 3 percent from the previous year.
The statistics indicate the fifth consecutive quarter in which traffic fatalities declined. While declined, officials said more can be done.
“Dangerous actions such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are still putting many Americans, their families and those they share the road with at risk,” said National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Deputy Administrator Heidi King in a statement.
The majority of fatal accidents are single-vehicle crashes, the institute noted.
NTD staff contributed to this report.