Florida Highway Patrol reported that an accident in Sarasota near Bee Ridge road involving a heavy tanker truck has killed the driver.
The accident occurred on interstate 75 near Bee Ridge Road at 9:40am. FHP stated the driver of the tanker truck, Patrick Harrel, a 42 year old from Sarasota was driving south on I-75 in the slow lane and unexpectedly swerved into the center lane in front of an oncoming pick up truck. The driver of the pick up truck, Robert Richterkessing a 24 year-old from Kissimmee Florida attempted to avoid the tanker truck by turning to the left and braking hard however there was not enough time and the pick up truck collided with the left rear of the tanker truck at speed.
The force of the collision cause both vehicles to spin out of control and rollover into the median crashing through the guard wire. The heavy tanker truck gouged deep tracks into the grassy median as it crashed.
After the accident it took firefighters some time to extract Harrel’s body which had been pinned under the tanker truck. A passenger also in the tanker truck suffered only minor injuries.
Robert Richterkessing, the driver of the pickup truck was unharmed in the crash.
Troopers are investigating what caused the truck to swerve so suddenly, and apparently it was possibly due to weather. Police were also running a toxicology report on the driver of the tanker truck to determine if alcohol was a factor.