WESLEY CHAPEL — One man was killed and another was critically injured after their pickup truck ran into the back of a fuel tanker on Interstate 75 at State Road 56, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Traffic slowed in a construction zone just before 9 p.m. Thursday night and two men traveling north on I-75 in a Toyota Tundra rear-ended the fuel tanker, Highway Patrol Sgt. Larry Kraus said.
Passers-by saw the large, four- door pickup sitting smashed on the roadway with its large silver toolbox lying on the pavement.
The pickup's passenger, whom troopers did not identify Thursday night, was trapped in the vehicle and died at the scene, Kraus said.
The pickup's driver was taken by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa in critical condition.
Troopers shut down all northbound lanes of I-75 to investigate the crash and traffic came to halt as vehicles were forced to pass by the wreckage at a crawl on the median. Travel delays extended for an hour or more.
Kraus said troopers had to wait for an empty tanker to collect the 85,000 gallons of fuel before the tanker involved in the crash could be towed. The tanker's driver was not injured, Kraus said.
Times staff writer Lee Logan contributed to this report.