The Florida Highway Patrol has released video that shows that a truck driver was cut off but that he was also using his cellphone when his semi crashed off of the I-75 overpass in Tampa last week.
The crash happened just before 7 a.m. on January 4. Samuel R. Colon Jr., 49, was hauling recycled materials northbound on I-75 when a passenger vehicle suddenly changed lanes in front of him. Colon swerved to avoid crashing into the car, hit a concrete barrier, and then plunged down onto Fowler Avenue below.
Alert: WB Fowler at I-75 is closed due to this semi that ran off of NB 75 onto Fowler. HIT-9 is mitigating a small fuel spill. No injuries pic.twitter.com/Iy6rllVwLi
— Hillsborough County (@HillsFireRescue) January 4, 2017
Colon was seriously hurt. No other injuries were reported.
Video Shows Both Sides Of The Story
The Florida Highway Patrol released video shows both driver-facing and outward-facing views. The video confirms that Colon was indeed cut off and that he made an evasive maneuver to avoid crashing into the passenger vehicle.
However, the driver-facing camera also caught Colon steering the truck with one hand while using his phone with the other in the seconds before the crash occurs.
The Florida Highway Patrol issued Colon a $500 citation for using his phone while operating a CMV.
Troopers have not yet located the motorist who cut Colon off, but they are still hoping that someone with information will come forward. If you have information on the vehicle, you’re asked to contact FHP at 813-631-4020.