COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Florida Highway Patrol is piecing together the events that resulted in a chain-reaction crash Tuesday afternoon on a portion of I-75 in Collier County.
Troopers say they were responding to an unrelated crash near Mile Marker 88 that had happened earlier in the afternoon. They said all westbound traffic at that time was stopped or congested.
Shortly before 5 p.m., a semi-truck approaching the bottleneck failed to slow down and collided with the back of the pickup truck ahead of it.
According to the incident report, the semi continued along the right shoulder of the highway, sideswiping a second pickup truck and a sedan in the process.
The semi then hit a guardrail, swerved back into the highway, and hit a sport utility vehicle with Indiana tags carrying seven people. The SUV was dragged by the semi, and hit another SUV ahead of it.
FHP says the semi hit a seventh, unidentified vehicle.
In all, 16 people were involved in the crashes. One man, the 74-year-old driver of the Indiana vehicle, had minor injuries. The 33-year-old driver of the semi-truck sustained serious injuries and was taken to an area hospital.