MANATEE — A trucker hauling 22 pallets of Zephyrhills bottled water from Tampa for the Albertsons supermarket near the intersection of 75th Street West and Manatee Avenue hit an embankment about 7 a.m. Monday and broke the spine of the 53-foot trailer.
The trailer posed a threat to fall over because its contents had shifted. Public safety officials blocked northbound traffic from Ninth Avenue to Manatee Avenue on 75th Street most of the day as city workers and a crew of inmates from Hardee County helped unload the water to prepare the trailer to be towed.
Another trailer was set to pick up the water Monday night and return it to Zephyrhills’ water company, where the pallets will be inspected, said Norlan Simon, who owns the cab that hauled the trailer.
The semi-tractor trailer is owned by LRG Transportation & Storage Corp. of Tampa, Simon said.
Even southbound traffic was blocked on 75th Street for four hours be- cause the trailer was teetering and a safety hazard, said Captain Russ Tibbitts of the Bradenton Police Department.
Simon said that truck driver Richard Korcyl of St. Petersburg may have pulled into the Albertson’s at the wrong entrance, missing the dock area in the rear of the store.
Korcyl turned around, but apparently tried to go southbound on 75th Street in the northbound lanes to reach the dock, Tibbitts said.
“He was going wrong on a one-way street,” Tibbitts said.
If his first mistake was even going down that road, his second perhaps was cutting the corner too sharply. He hit the steep embankment near the road and the trailer twisted.
“It seems a total loss,” Tibbitts said of the trailer. Simon said Korcyl was unhurt.
“Once we get it hauled off, a crew has to repair the road, which has been gouged,” said Ricardo Ramos, a manager with the city of Bradenton Public Works department.The city of Bradenton has an agreement with Hardee County to use work release inmates from the Hardee correction facility, Ramos said.
Traffic was flowing freely on 75th Street by Monday evening.
Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.