BROOKSVILLE — A wreck Sunday night in which a semitrailer truck exploded left a portion of Interstate 75 in Hernando and Sumter counties closed for about seven hours.
Just after 9 p.m., Dominique Cimon Benjamin, 19, of Land O'Lakes was driving her Ford Focus north in the inside lane of the interstate, near the Hernando-Sumter county line, with two boys, a 5-year-old and a 6-year-old, in the back seat, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. Richard Eugene Russ, 71, of Myakka City was driving his semitrailer in the same direction and lane in front of Benjamin.
Benjamin was driving faster than Russ and caught up to him. To avoid a wreck, they both swerved, spun out of control on the wet highway and ended up colliding, according to the report.
The semi then hit a guardrail and exploded, according to the report.
Russ was not injured. Benjamin and the 6-year-old were taken to Florida Hospital Zephyrhills with minor injuries. The other child was not hurt. Troopers charged Benjamin with careless driving.
Some of the fuel from the semi spilled on the road, causing the interstate from State Road 50 to State Road 476 to be closed until 4 a.m., according to the report.