A tanker truck swerved yesterday afternoon to avoid hitting a collision that had already occurred. It was raining, and the rig crashed over the railing and onto Hwy 301 below, exploding into an enormous fireball on impact. Miraculously, the driver was pulled from the wreckage and is in hospital with burns over 90% of his body-- in bad shape, but alive. No one else was injured.
The northbound overpass was not damaged, and is open to traffic.
The southbound was heavily damaged in the crash and resulting inferno, and will be closed for the foreseeable future (8 weeks is the latest estimate from the Florida Highway Patrol.)
At this time, all southbound traffic, whether from I-275 coming over the Skyway from St. Petersburg, or southbound from the northern part of the state, is being re-routed onto Hwy 41 and Business 41 through Bradenton and Palmetto, then back onto I-75 at Highway 64.
This morning's rush hour is a nightmare, with the tailback stretching some 7 miles.
Please allow for this detour in your time schedule and your driving plans.