Driver dies in single-car crash near Ellenton

MANATEE — A Pinellas County man was killed Friday in a single-vehicle crash where Interstate 275 merges into southbound Interstate 75 just north of Ellenton, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

At about 1 p.m., Jay C. Tight, 36, the driver of a silver 2000 four-door Volvo, reportedly lost control of his vehicle as he exited off I-275 southbound and looped under an I-75 ramp overpass. Traffic was light on the day after Christmas, and the weather was clear.

State troopers asked for anyone, who might have witnessed the crash, to contact them.

Tight, of Oldsmar in northeast Pinellas County, was the only person in the Volvo when it crashed into a concrete bridge support before merging onto I-75, according to the FHP report.

The highway ramp, which swings around from north to south as it heads toward East Manatee, was closed for a short time after the accident.

Both County Emergency Medical Services and North River Fire Rescue personnel responded to the crash.

The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, EMS officials said.

The report indicated no alcohol was involved and Tight was wearing a seatbelt.

Tight’s death was the first vehicle fatality in Manatee County during the Florida Highway Patrol’s Christmas holiday enforcement period, which began at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, and will end at midnight Sunday.

The New Year’s holiday enforcement period will begin at 12:01 a.m. Dec. 31, and end at midnight Jan. 4.

During the holiday enforcement periods all sworn personnel of the FHP normally assigned to administrative duties will be reassigned to patrol duties on high volume roadways.

In addition, auxiliary and reserve troopers will volunteer to assist regular troopers during the heightened holiday enforcement periods.

The FHP was investigating the accident and asked if anyone witnessed the accident or might think they have any information to call Cpl. Darrell Carrol at 757-7647, ext. 131.