A suspected impaired driver barreled into a construction zone on Interstate 275 in Tampa early Saturday and crashed into the back of a Florida Highway Patrol cruiser, seriously injuring a trooper, according to the agency.
A 24-year-old Lakeland man was driving a Kia Forte north on I-275 near Interstate 4 about 4:43 a.m. and approached a work zone where the left lanes were closed, according to the Highway Patrol. The driver veered into the work zone, driving over traffic cones and striking an arrow board before crashing into the back of the marked patrol car, which was parked with its emergency lights on, troopers said.
A trooper in the patrol car, the Kia driver and a 25-year-old Ocala woman who was a passenger in the Kia were all seriously injured and taken to local hospitals.
Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a Highway Patrol spokesperson, declined to release the name of the 28-year-old trooper, citing Marsy’s Law, but said he joined the agency two years ago and is assigned to the Troop C DUI Unit.
The Kia driver remained hospitalized Saturday and has not yet been arrested because investigators were waiting on toxicology results, Gaskins said.