The families of a 46-year-old man and an infant are mourning after both were killed in a nine-vehicle pileup on Interstate 75 in Florida, just north of Interstate 4 in Hillsborough County.
The tragedy occurred when the 74-year-old driver of a dump truck, traveling south on I-75, encountered heavy traffic but didn’t stop in time to avoid a collision. The dump truck ran into the back of a tractor-trailer and then a Toyota Corolla. The dump truck then overturned and landed on a Nissan van.
It also skidded into five more vehicles.
The 46-year-old man was driving the Nissan. The baby, 2 months old, was in the family car, the Corolla. The man died at the site of the crash. The critically injured baby died at a hospital.
Charges against the dump truck driver are pending.
I-75 has drawn scrutiny over the past few years over the dangers of large trucks mixing with cars. Earlier this year, seven people, including five youngsters, died in a crash with a semitruck along the interstate in Alachua County.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 275 fatal accidents involving large trucks in Florida occurred 2016. The agency said only 28 percent of the people who died were in the trucks.
Recognizing the dangers, the state put together a task force to study I-75 and its travel conditions and submitted a list of recommended improvements.
The thought of future improvements is no consolation to these grieving families, who undoubtedly will have a difficult time in the coming months facing the loss of their loved ones. They will have the immediate costs of funeral and, in the case of the infant’s family, medical expenses, and will have long-term effects to cope with. When they are emotionally able, an attorney experienced in such cases can explain their legal options.