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I-75 tar spill cleaned up; Highway Patrol cites driver

RUSKIN — Authorities said they've cleaned up the tar spill that blocked northbound Interstate 75 on Friday afternoon and said the driver who was hauling the tar shouldn't have been driving.

Traffic is flowing again, but for a while it was backed up for miles, all the way to the Hillsborough-Manatee county line.

The crash that caused the blockage took place about 11:09 a.m. near mile marker 244. According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, a 1998 Chevy pick-up was towing a trailer containing the tar and headed north in the left lane when the driver lost control a mile south of Big Bend Road.

The pickup drove onto the left paved shoulder, the Highway Patrol said. But the driver overcorrected to get back onto the interstate, the patrol said. The truck spun clockwise, and the trailer came loose.

The trailer turned over in the center lane and spilled 50 to 60 gallons of tar across the roadway, the patrol said. The pickup ended up hitting a 2007 Buick.

The pickup was driven by William J. Metcmeier, 31, of Seffner. The Buick's driver was Elizabeth Council, 75, of Punta Gorda. Neither was injured.

Metcmeier was cited for careless driving and driving with a license suspended or revoked. The crash remains under investigation.

The Highway Patrol said the company that owns the pickup, E.B. Duraseal Asphalt Sealing and Paving, cleaned up the spill.

I-75 tar spill cleaned up; Highway Patrol cites driver 08/27/10 [Last modified: Friday, August 27, 2010 9:05pm]
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