Editor’s note: This story has been updated. An earlier version incorrectly reported there were two victims in this accident, based on incorrect information from the Florida Highway Patrol.
EAST MANATEE — A Sarasota woman died from injuries she sustained Wednesday 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., 39-year-old Wendy C. Jones 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 severe injuries on the grassy shoulder of the highway. She was not wearing a seatbelt, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.
Emergency personnel airlifted the woman to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.
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.
Impact from the crash and flames shattered all of the SUV’s windows, and the fire charred parts of the white vehicle.
No other vehicles were involved in the wreck.
The crash snarled traffic for miles for more than an hour on I-75, but the highway was never closed.