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Man drives around cones and crashes into road ranger after fiery wreck

The ranger had been arranging a detour after a tractor trailer crash in Hernando County.

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. — A road ranger is recovering at the hospital after authorities say a Tampa man drove into him in Hernando County.

It all started with a separate crash.

Here's the background: Florida Highway Patrol says a 62-year-old man was driving a tractor-trailer south on I-75. Investigators say he was hauling a load of frozen food and crossing the overpass at SR-50 in Hernando County.

Authorities say he overtook slower-moving traffic, taking "evasive action to avoid a crash." In doing so, FHP says he hit the inside concrete barrier and went up onto it.

The tractor split from the trailer. Both units overturned.

This all happened around 1:50 a.m. Thursday.

The tractor part burst into flames on the northbound side of the interstate. 

The tractor-trailer driver was wearing a seatbelt and only suffered minor injuries. He's not the guy accused of hitting the road ranger.

Then, a 28-year-old Parrish man was driving a pickup truck north on I-75 when he collided with debris from the fiery tractor-trailer crash. With him in the pickup were a 23-year-old woman and 2-year-old boy. They were all wearing seatbelts and were not hurt.

Now, this is where the whole situation takes a turn.

Around 2:30 a.m. (a while after the initial crashes), FHP says a 38-year-old road ranger was setting up a northbound detour at Exit 293. That's when investigators say an "inattentive" 71-year-old Tampa man drove a minivan "around the traffic cones" and crashed into the ranger who was standing there.

The ranger was airlifted to the hospital.

His injuries were serious, but he was listed as stable.

The Tampa man had been driving a 200 Toyota Sienna, FHP said. There was no word on any potential citations.

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