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Tamiami Trail open again after fatal crash

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Posted at 8:14 AM, Apr 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 06:30:59-04

UPDATE (4 pm) -- Tamiami Trail has reopened after a truck collision that left one person dead and two other people  in a canal.

It happened near the Midway Campground on Tamiami Trail, just east of the Big Cypress Oasis Visitor Center, roughly halfway between Naples and Miami.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, a westbound tractor-trailer truck drifted across the center line and side-swiped am eastbound box truck.

The tractor-trailer continued across the eastbound lanes and onto the shoulder, where it caught fire.

The box truck, which had several passengers in the box section, had the side ripped open and veered across the westbound lanes.  It hit the guard rail, causing two passengers to be thrown into the canal alongside the road.

A passenger in the tractor-trailer, 22-year-old Shivani Benimadhu of Palm Bay, was taken to Physicians Regional Hospital, where she died from her injuries.

The two men thrown into the canal suffered serious injuries and were also transported to hospitals.

The tractor-trailer's driver was cited for failure to maintain his lane.

Tamiami Trail was closed for about 8 hours during the investigation.

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COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. -- Drivers expecting to cross the state on Tamiami Trail this morning should consider taking Alligator Alley.

Florida Highway Patrol is report a complete roadblock on Tamiami Trail near mile marker 53, approximately near the midpoint between Naples and Miami.

Photos shared with Fox 4 by Flor Ramirez show a semi truck in the trees and possibly on fire.

FHP says there is a fatality at the scene.

The crash happened around 6 AM.