The fatal and multi-vehicle accident occurred Wednesday, November 13th around 6PM on the northbound lanes of I-75, just past the New Tampa Blvd overpass.
A traffic slowdown caused a backup of vehicles in the area. Of the vehicles involved in the crash, all but the last one were able to reduce speed in time. This eventually led to the chain-reaction of impacts.
The last vehicle was a tractor-trailer driven by an unnamed man who was killed in the incident. The driver of a Mercedes sedan that was stopped in traffic was also killed when their car was crushed by the tractor-trailer and later engulfed in flames.
The names of the victims who survived albeit with varying degrees of injuries include: Usman Riaz, 37; Candice Reetz, 35; Roberto Maldonado Jr., 28; Katheleen Ybarra, 26; George Pagan, 57; Jason Howard, 36.
The segment of Interstate 75 remained closed for many hours while crews cleaned up the ensuing debris. The cause of the deadly incident is still under investigation.
A regular contributor to Legal Herald and experienced truck accident attorney, Michael Haggard has dedicated his career to defending victims of injuries in court. He offered the following information for individuals who may have suffered injuries in similar truck accidents:
"While the highways of our country are likely as safe as they ever have been, one can't just overlook the fact that accidents continue to take place every day. Indeed, driving is one of the riskiest activities we engage in, often without remembering how tragic it can be.
Unfortunately, when these tragedies manifest themselves as accidents involving trucks, all persons involved are likely to suffer serious injuries such as fractures or brain and spinal damage. It's also true that many simply don't have the chance to walk away from these crashes.
These grave injuries or the loss of a loved one are the kind of traumatic event that can flip a life upside down. Not only of individuals, but of entire families. With this trauma often come mounting financial burdens including medical care costs or funeral expenses.
It is in these situations where an experienced truck crash lawyer can prove most important. While a family concentrates on recovery and healing, a legal representative is fighting on their behalf by the law every step of the way. Moreover, a lawsuit can often be the only way for victims to be taken care of, and for those involved to finally feel that justice has been made."