SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- Florida Highway Patrol confirms that three people have died in a crash involving a car hauler semi-truck and other vehicles on Interstate 75 near North Port.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of the semi-truck exited the vehicle due to a mechanical failure. When the second vehicle, driven by 23-year-old Nathaniel Perkins III, approached the truck, the driver attempted to swerve and the front right side of the Nissan collided with the left rear of the semi.
When the Nissan driver attempted to swerve, the vehicle was propelled towards traffic, causing a third vehicle to get involved in the crash. The driver of the third vehicle, a Toyota Avalon, crashed head-on into the right front of the Nissan.
The driver of the Nissan and the passenger in the back were thrown from the vehicle in the process of the crash. The passenger thrown from the vehicle has been identified as 22-year-old Johneisha Gadson. The third passenger remains in critical condition at the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The occupants of the vehicle were not wearing seatbelts and were residents of Fort Myers.
The 51-year-old driver of the semi-truck died from sustained injuries in the crash. His name has not been released.
There were only minor injuries reported for the two passengers and driver of the third vehicle.
Southbound lanes of Interstate 75 approaching Toledo Blade Boulevard in North Port were shut down for several hours Sunday as authorities investigated the crash.
The cause of the crash is still under investigation and alcohol has not been ruled out as a factor.
FHP on scene of a multiple vehicle crash SB I75 #177, 3 confirmed fatals, 2 injuries. Closure expected to be several hours. pic.twitter.com/IT3HJe89mf— Lt. Gregory Bueno (@FHPTrooper_SWFL) March 5, 2017