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Troopers: U.S. 19 at Countryside Blvd. now open except for inside lane

Northbound lanes of U.S. 19 are closed in the Countryside area while workers clean up a chemical spill after a Terminix truck flipped over. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times
Northbound lanes of U.S. 19 are closed in the Countryside area while workers clean up a chemical spill after a Terminix truck flipped over. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times
Published Jan. 23, 2018

CLEARWATER — Officials have reopened U.S. 19 at Countryside Blvd. except for the inside lane.

The entire highway was closed for a brief period Tuesday while workers cleaned up a chemical spill after a Terminix truck flipped over.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Abdelali El Faqir, 53, was driving northbound on U.S. 19 in the center lane toward Republic Drive, just north of Westfield Countryside Mall. Faqir stopped the car for a passing fire truck that had entered the intersection.

Jagger Lee Martinez, 25, driving a 2007 Jeep Wrangler, plowed into the back of the truck, causing both vehicles to flip. Dry and wet chemicals spilled from the Terminix truck, troopers said. Faqir, of Clearwater, and 25-year-old Martinez, of Safety Harbor, were taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with minor injuries.

Cars were being diverted from the highway at State Road 580 when the entire highway was closed. Officials have not released an estimate for when all lanes will be reopened.

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