Rain blamed for series of crashes on Interstate 75 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 crash 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 crashes resulted in life threatening injuries to those involved.

At about 8:30 p.m., the fourth crash happened. A semitrailer truck was stopped in the outside southbound lane of I-75 as a result of the traffic congestion from the previous crashes. At the same time, a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado approached from behind and slammed into the back of the semi, troopers said.

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

A total of eight vehicles were involved in the series of accidents. Authorities were continuing to investigate each of the crashes Friday.