ALACHUA, FL (Feb 23) - At only a few minutes past 5pm, on February 23rd, emergency personnel from two area fire and rescue departments responded to a multi vehicle accident at mile marker 399 on I-75 Southbound.
Upon arrival, units from Alachua County Fire Rescue and the High Springs Fire Department discovered an accident involving a semi truck and an SUV. The totaled semi, which had been towing two trailers, lay on its side with cargo strewn across all three lanes of southbound traffic while the damaged SUV rested near a guardrail.
Although the driver of the SUV was shaken but in good health, the driver of the tractor trailer was trapped in the wreckage of his vehicle's cab. Emergency personnel worked to extricate him and he was subsequently flown in critical condition to Shand's UF by Shandscair.
In addition to the significant amount of accident debris, a 1200 pound cylinder of non-flammable gas was ejected from the semi during the wreck. Alachua County Fire Rescue's Hazardous Materials Response Team was called in to appropriately move the large cylinder from the roadway.
The accident closed a portion of I-75 for several hours causing Southbound traffic to be diverted onto US441 South at the Alachua-High Springs exit. The cause of the accident is under investigation by Florida Highway Patrol.