One killed in series of Interstate 75 crashes in Pasco County

Rain triggered a series of four traffic crashes Thursday night, the last of which left one man dead, along Interstate 75 near State Road 52 in Pasco County, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The crashes closed the interstate for about six hours.

The accidents began with a rollover about 8 p.m. on the southbound side of the interstate south of State Road 52.

A Pasco County sheriff’s deputy was among the emergency personnel who arrived to assist following the crash. As traffic backed up, a car hit the deputy’s cruiser, troopers said.

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Shortly afterward, three other vehicles slammed into each other in the same area, troopers said. None of the first three accidents resulted in life threatening injuries to those involved.

Then, at about 8:30 p.m., a semitrailer truck that was stopped in the outside southbound lane of I-75 as a result of the traffic congestion from the previous crashes was hit from behind by a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado, troopers said.

The Silverado’s driver, James Joseph Brennan, 57, of Seffner, died at the scene. The semi’s driver was not injured.

Eight vehicles were involved in the accidents and authorities were continuing to investigate each crash on Friday.