Fatal I-75 crash sends car into Alafia

Gibsonton crash Google Map LinknbspGibsonton crash

A Manatee County man was killed when a semitrailer struck the back of his car early today on Interstate 75 in Gibsonton, sending the car off a bridge and into the Alafia River.


The Florida Highway Patrol said all lanes were reopened shortly after 9 a.m. The southbound lanes were closed for more than six hours after nearly 30,000 gallons of alcoholic beverages spilled from the truck, which was hauling for ABC Fine Wine Spirits.


According to the the patrol, 42-year-old James Dylan Proctor, of Parrish, was driving a 2011 BMW at a slow speed on southbound I-75, just after 2:30 a.m., when the semitrailer attempted to pass him in the outside lane.


The 2006 Volvo tractor-trailer, driven by 30-year-old Wayne Damari Waldon, of Lakeland, struck the back of the BMW, troopers said. The impact caused the BMW to travel off the inside shoulder of the bridge and into the Alafia, while the semitrailer overturned onto the road, troopers said.


Rescue crews removed the car from the river, but Proctor died at the scene, troopers said.


Waldon was transported to Tampa General Hospital with minor injuries, troopers said.


Investigators are testing whether Proctor may have been intoxicated, according to a highway patrol report.


Although the region experienced patchy fog, troopers said weather conditions were clear at the time of the crash, with visibility in excess of one mile or more.


Stay with TBO.com for updates.