The five-vehicle crash on I-4 on Friday morning killed two people and injured several others, the Lakeland Fire Department reported Saturday.
LAKELAND – The five-vehicle crash on I-4 on Friday morning killed two people and injured several others, the Lakeland Fire Department reported Saturday.
The crash occurred about 10 a.m. between exits 32 and 33.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Saturday that a sedan driven by a 22-year-old man from Lakeland was traveling west on I-4 at mile marker 33 in the inside lane. The sedan entered the center lane and struck a tractor trailer driven by a 56-year-old man from Brantford, Ontario.
The impact sent the sedan to the center median, where it hit the cable barrier and then traveled into the eastbound lanes of I-4.
There, it collided nearly head-on with another sedan, driven by a 37-year-old man from Orlando with a 37-year-old female passenger from Davenport. That sedan was struck from behind by another car driven by a 25-year-old woman from Estero and overturned onto the outside shoulder of the interstate.
A box truck driven by a 57-year-old man from Tampa then hit the first sedan, traveled across the median, through the cable barrier, across the westbound lanes and hit a fence on the outside shoulder, winding up in the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel restaurant, the Highway Patrol said.
The 37-year-old man from Orlando died at the scene, and his passenger, 37-year-old woman from Davenport, died at an area hospital.
The 22-year-old Lakeland man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries.
The 56-year-old truck driver from Ontario was listed as having no injuries.
The 25-year-old woman from Estero suffered minor injuries.
And the 57-year-old tractor trailer driver from Tampa also suffered minor injuries.
Some people were entrapped and had to be extricated by rescue crews.
The Highway Patrol said everyone involved appeared to be wearing seatbelts.
I-4 was closed until about 3 p.m., and the American Red Cross of Central Florida responded to the scene with bottled water for drivers and first-responders, according to Steve Thompson, American Red Cross disaster program manager.
Traffic was diverted from the area and tolls on Polk Parkway were lifted for the day, motorists reported on social media. One of the vehicles from the crash landed in the parking lot of the Cracker Barrel restaurant.
The FHP does not release the names of crash victims, citing Marsy’s Law.
Kathy Leigh Berkowitz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 863-802-7558. Follow her on Twitter @kberkowitzthel1.