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The accident resulted in three holes in the I-75 overpass. Photo courtesy of Lauren Hatchell.
East County Monday, Jan. 27, 2014 1 year ago

I-75 lanes at interchange to reopen at 6 p.m.

by: Staff report

UPDATE (5:30 p.m.. Tuesday):

All southbound lanes of Interstate 75 at the University Parkway exit will be open at 6 p.m. Tuesday night after being closed due to reported pieces of concrete falling from the I-75 overpass, the Florida Department of Transportation reports. 

University Parkway lanes, eastbound and westbound, were reopened Tuesday morning.

Only clean-up along University Parkway under the overpass remains. 

That work is not expected to slow traffic. 

The Florida Highway Patrol reports the interchange was closed after Tampa-based freight driver Jorge Luis Abelenda, 41, was towing a trailer carrying a steel piling collar, driving on I-75 southbound and approaching the University Parkway overpass, when the collar bounced out of the trailer.

The Florida Highway Patrol report says the driver slowed as he approached the overpass for two vehicles stopped on the right shoulder. 

The driver then swerved toward the center lane to avoid colliding with other traffic. As that happened, the strap holding down the steel piling collar snapped, letting the load fall off the trailer.

The load rolled from the center lane toward the right lane coming to rest at the base of the bridge along the right shoulder.

The incident occured at 11:43 a.m. Monday morning. 

Damage to the overpass was a result of the impact from the dislodged heavy load, the report said. 

Anyone who witnessed the crash should contact 941-751-7647.








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