TAMPA, FL – A truck driver for FedEx was killed in an early morning accident on a Florida highway. The truck accident happened on Interstate 4 in Tampa, near the Florida State Fairgrounds. The accident area is in the central-west section of the state on the Florida Gulf Coast, 85 miles southwest of Orlando and 280 miles northwest of Miami, FL.
At around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, 45 year old William Morales of Tampa, FL was traveling westbound on Interstate 4 in a FedEx tractor trailer truck. FedEx Corporate is headquartered in Dallas, Texas…
As Mr. Morales drove in the area near the exit for US 301/92, a 1995 GMC truck, driven by 51 year old Felix Rios of Miami, FL, lost a tire and drove into the path of the FedEx truck. The truck tire landed in the path of the FedEx truck, and Morales hit it and then lost control of his tractor trailer truck.
After hitting the tire the FedEx trailer truck slammed into the underpass of US 301/92, slid along the underpass barrier wall and banged against several of the supporting concrete pillars. The tractor trailer truck finally came to a stop about a hundred feet on the other side of the underpass, the wrecked FedEx truck leaning against the outside barrier wall of the interstate.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers and emergency personnel arrived at the truck accident scene. The FedEx driver, Mr. Morales suffered fatal injuries in the truck accident and died at the scene. Mr. Rios, the truck driver of the rig that lost its wheel, was not injured in the truck accident.
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Florida Transportation investigators arrived at the scene shortly after the truck accident to check on the structural integrity of the underpass barrier wall and supporting pillars. FHP troopers reported that the concrete pillars appeared to be fine with only surface scrapes.
Florida Highway Patrol shut down two westbound lanes on the highway, diverting traffic to the one remaining westbound lane of the I-4. They also closed down the US 301/92 ramp onto westbound I-4. This caused a traffic back-up for several miles and created major delays in the morning commuter traffic. Vehicles were rerouted to Interstate 75 and to Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard.
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The two I-4 westbound lanes were finally reopened at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning. The US 301/92 exit ramp would remained closed for an additional hour and a half, reopening shortly before 8:00 a.m.
At this point the FHP has not issued any charges or citations and the truck accident remains under investigation.
Sudden tire failure can mean losing control of the vehicle and even a rollover. Defective tires or tires which are not adequate for the vehicle on which they are installed, can blow out with no warning and after very little mileage, even though they appear to be new and in good condition. Read more about truck tires and blowouts.