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PREVIOUS COVERAGE | 1 woman dead, 5 injured in I-75 crash

One woman is dead and five others are injured after an sport utility vehicle veered off Interstate 75 and struck a tree late Thursday night, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

Two men and four women, all from the Tampa Bay area, were traveling southbound around mile marker 230 when it appeared the SUV hydroplaned, said trooper Todd Bergman, and the driver lost control and hit a tree.

The woman who died was sitting in the backseat, he said.

As for the others injured, two women were taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, and two men and one woman were taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital with non-life-threatening, but serious, injuries, according to FHP.

Bergman said that while the weather was a contributing factor, the crash remains under investigation.

The front passenger and the driver were both buckled up, he said.

Firefighters had to cut open the left side of the vehicle to remove the door and remove the occupants, Bergman said. No one was ejected during the crash, he said.

The woman's body was laying near the roadway under a sheet as FHP troopers looked at driver's licenses and tried to interview some of the occupants in the rain.

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