RIVERVIEW, Fla. — A tragic multi-vehicle crash on southbound Interstate 75 near the Selmon Expressway resulted in the deaths of four individuals, including two young boys. The accident, which occurred just after 3 p.m. on Wednesday, claimed the lives of a father, mother, son, and the boy’s 14-year-old cousin, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
The Florida Highway Patrol reported that the crash involved two pickup trucks traveling southbound in adjacent lanes. One truck collided with the other as it attempted to change lanes, causing both vehicles to spin out of control. The first truck, carrying a family from Clearwater, landed in the grass median, ejecting the driver and all three passengers. Tragically, the 36-year-old driver, a 34-year-old woman, and their 12-year-old son were killed in the crash. The third passenger, a 14-year-old cousin from Texas, succumbed to injuries at the hospital.
According to FHP, none of the occupants in the first truck were wearing seatbelts. However, the driver of the second truck and the two young children riding in the back were unharmed, as they were all wearing seatbelts and their vehicle came to a controlled stop in the inside emergency lane.
The tragic incident serves as a heartbreaking reminder of the importance of wearing seatbelts in vehicles, as they significantly increase the chances of surviving a crash. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reported that nearly 50% of child passenger fatalities in 2022 were due to not wearing any type of restraint.
Following the crash, all southbound lanes of I-75 were closed for several hours before reopening. The events surrounding the accident have prompted authorities to underscore the critical role of seatbelt usage in preventing serious injuries and deaths on the road.