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Woman ejected during fiery Manatee crash

EAST MANATEE — A woman has been airlifted to a local hospital with serious injuries after she lost control of her sport utility vehicle and crashed into woods off Interstate 75, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers say just after 1 p.m., the woman lost control of her GMC Jimmy while heading south on I-75, just south of State Road 70, and was ejected from the vehicle when it overturned.

The vehicle careened into trees and palmetto brush before catching fire. Emergency personnel found the woman with several injuries on the grassy shoulder of the highway. Troopers have not released the woman’s name, who is believed to be in her late 30s.

East Manatee Fire Rescue firefighters prevented the blaze from spreading into dry brush and spent hours saturating the ground trying to put out any hot spots, according to Battalion Chief Stacey Bailey.

The crash snarled traffic for miles for more than an hour on I-75, but the highway was never closed.