Three people were killed in an accident caused by a wrong-way driver on Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County on Thanksgiving Day. The crash led to a section of the highway being closed overnight.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the victims were a 21-year-old man from Bradenton, a 21-year-old woman from Ruskin and a 24-year-old man from Bradenton. All three were transported to Tampa General Hospital, where they died from their injuries.
The 21-year-old man was driving a 2012 Toyota Corolla, heading north in the southbound center lane on I-75 north of Gibsonton Drive slightly after 10 p.m. The 24-year-old man was driving south in the center lane on the same road in his 2009 Ford Focus. The vehicles reportedly met head-on, causing a devastating collision.
The couple in the Corolla was reportedly heading home after Thanksgiving dinner, having dropped off a friend. The pair had recently gotten engaged.
All people involved in the accident were wearing seatbelts, and police officers did not suspect alcohol was a factor. It’s uncertain at which point the Corolla began traveling in the wrong direction.
Wrong-way accidents are incredibly dangerous
When a driver goes the wrong way on a highway, it creates an exceptionally dangerous situation. Other motorists do not expect to see a car coming in their direction, and thus they may not realize the impending danger until it’s too late. These head-on crashes tend to happen at high speeds.
While drug or alcohol use is the most common factor, there are other reasons why a driver could be going in the wrong direction on a road or highway. Failing to pay attention to signage and distracted driving are two common issues. But in some instances, there may be poor signage that easily confuses drivers.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a serious car accident, meet with a skilled Bradenton personal injury attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.