Update, 11:47 p.m., July 20: All lanes of Interstate 75 have reopened, according to Sgt. Steve Gaskins of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Motorists wanting to travel Interstate 75 in the Pasco County area might want to think twice this evening. Two accidents have left both north- and southbound lanes of the Interstate closed in Pasco.
The most recent accident took place around 7:35 this evening, July 20, when a semi-truck driven by Victor Aviles-Santos, 40, of Miami was heading southbound near the State Road 52 exit. Aviles-Santos was cut off by an unknown vehicle that was attempting a lane change when the driver encountered heavy traffic caused by an earlier accident in the Wesley Chapel area, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
Aviles-Santos attempted to take evasive actions to avoid a collision, but lost control of his truck, the report said. His semi ended up hitting a metal guardrail, causing the truck to jackknife, the report said.
Aviles-Santos was uninjured in the crash, the report said. His truck suffered $30,000 in damage.
Highway patrol spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins said the accident has caused the inside southbound lane of I-75, just north of State Road 52, to close. The northbound lanes remain closed north of State Road 56 from the in which two motorists were hospitalized. That crash involved three vehicles and temporarily forced a closing of both the north- and southbound lanes.
“Northbound motorists are encouraged to seek alternative routes such as US-41 or US-301 and exit northbound I-75 at SR-56 or before,” Gaskins said earlier this evening.
An investigation into the latest accident continues. Charges are pending.
Stay with Patch for updates as they become available.