TAMPA Authorities have released the name of a man killed last week when a semitrailer truck plunged off an Interstate 75 overpass, landed on his car and burst into flames.
Daniel Lee Allmond, 31, of Spring Hill was driving a Nissan Sentra east on E Fowler Avenue on Oct. 2 when the chaotic, chain-reaction crash happened, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Allmond died at the scene.
He worked for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, according to a statement from the department released with an update from the Highway Patrol.
“Through his work with the department, Daniel made a tremendous impact helping to promote highway safety across the state of Florida, undoubtedly saving lives,” the statement said. “We mourn his tragic loss and our prayers and support will remain with his family and friends during this time of grief.”
The statement did not include Allmonds job title or a description of his duties.
The incident started when a 2004 Toyota Sequoia sport-utility vehicle driving in the eastbound lanes of E Fowler Avenue entered the cloverleaf entrance ramp to northbound I-75 about 4 p.m. The driver of the Toyota, 40-year-old Jennifer Louise Boynton of Belleview, lost control, sending the vehicle careening across the northbound lanes of the interstate and into the path of the semitrailer truck, the Highway Patrol said.
The two vehicles collided, and the crash sent the semitrailer into the inside barrier wall of the overpass above Fowler. The tractor portion of the truck separated from the trailer and tumbled to the roadway below, with driver Angel Aldana Catalan, 63, of Port St. Lucie, inside.
The truck cab landed on Allmonds Sentra, then caught fire and burned heavily for 20 minutes, the Highway Patrol said. Meanwhile, the trailer portion of the semitrailer truck continued to ride along the barrier wall on the overpass and eventually toppled to the roadway below, as well. It carried tomatoes, and spilled the fruit all over E Fowler Avenue.
The trailer ended up hitting a 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe, driven by Frank L. Harold, 62, of Bradenton, as he drove west on Fowler.
Boynton, the driver of the Toyota that lost control on the entrance ramp, suffered minor injuries, troopers said. Her passenger, Scott Elling, 50, also of Belleview, was not injured. Both were taken to St. Josephs Hospital for medical treatment.
Catalan, the driver of the semitrailer truck, suffered minor injuries and was not taken to a hospital. Harold, the driver of the Hyundai that crashed into the trailer after it fell onto Fowler Avenue, and a passenger also suffered minor injuries.
The crash closed both directions of I-75 and E Fowler Avenue for several hours as firefighters extinguished two vehicle fires and troopers investigated the crash scene. All interstate lanes were back open by 8:45 p.m. Fowler remained closed through the night.
Troopers did not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash. The incident remained under investigation Thursday.
Contact Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.