Teen driver arrested after fatal tanker crash

Posted at 6:21 AM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-30 06:31:59-04

UPDATE (2PM) - Troopers have arrested a 16-year-old driver for leaving the scene of a fiery early morning crash that left a truck driver dead.

The crash happened around 3AM Tuesday near mile marker 211 in Sarasota.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, a tanker truck carrying 8,500 gallons of gasoline was southbound in the outside lane of I-75 when the truck rear-ended a car in the same lane.  The truck veered onto the grass shoulder and overturned and erupted into flames.

The driver of the car fled the scene.  The 16-year-old driver was later located in Lakewood Ranch and arrested for leaving the scene of a deadly crash and violation of a learner's license restriction.

The driver of the truck, identified as 53-year-old Robert Drewelus of St. Petersburg, died at the scene.

The crash is still under investigation.

All southbound lanes have since reopened.


UPDATE (1PM) -- FHP reports that just one southbound lane of I-75 remains blocked near mile marker 211. Extensive backups remain in the southbound lanes.

Live traffic changes can be monitored at


UPDATE (7:10AM) -- FHP reports that one southbound lane on I-75 has reopened to traffic at University Parkway.  The other two lanes are expected to remain closed for several hours.


SARASOTA, Fla. - One person is dead after a tanker overturned and caught fire early Tuesday morning. The crash closed all lanes on I-75 in Sarasota during clean-up and investigation, but northbound lanes have since reopened.

I-75 southbound is closed between the University Parkway and Fruitville Road exits.

FHP confirmed at least one person is dead, and they believe this was a single-occupant vehicle.

It's anticipated that the southbound lanes will remain shut down.

Southbound detour

  • Westbound on University Parkway to southbound US 301, then eastbound on Fruitville Road to Southbound I-75 for re-entry
  • Other southbound alternatives are Honore Avenue, Lockwood Ridge Road,  or Tuttle Avenue

The fire occurred around 3 a.m.