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FHP: One dead after fiery three-vehicle crash on Interstate 75 in Hillsborough


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A 21-year-old man died early Sunday morning after he was hit by a pickup truck on the side of Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County.


According to a news release from the Florida Highway Patrol, Daniel Schaffer, 21, of Bradenton, was standing near a tow truck on the side of the highway at about 2:40 a.m. Sunday.


Schaffer was accompanied by Marc Smith, a 29-year-old tow truck operator. The tow truck, operated by All American Transport and Towing of Tampa, was loaded with a 2006 Jeep Liberty, the release said.


As Schaffer and Smith stood on the side of the road, 27-year-old Alexa Salvatore of Jacksonville drove northbound toward the scene in her 2019 Dodge pickup truck.


Salvatore lost control of her car as it neared the off-ramp to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway, the release said. Her truck crashed into Schaffer and the tow truck, which then caused the tow truck to hit Smith.


All three cars — Salvatore's, the tow truck and the Jeep — burst into flames, the release said.


Schaffer died at the scene from injuries he sustained in the crash.


Smith was taken to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries.


Salvatore was also taken to Tampa General Hospital. She suffered minor injuries, the release said.

Charges in the incident are pending.




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Reports from the FHP also note that the crash was partially in the Gore Point and both the tower and the customer were allegedly standing near the tow truck.


We're hoping that Marc Smith recovers completely while Christine and I send our prayers to the Schaeffer family in memory of Daniel.


Working on, in, and near gore points is a extremely dangerous process. I personally will request law enforcement to assist, but their presence still doesn't protect towers and cops from being struck as noted in the, January 2019, Michigan on-ramp crash where the tower watched a car slam his carrier as he ran into freeway lanes to avoid being killed by an errant vehicle.


Because of the 0230 time of incident and the fact that the female driver went to the hospital, reports indicate that charges are pending ... maybe suggesting those charges may be DUI related. Get well soon Marc.    R&C

Randall C. Resch

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