TAMPA -- All lanes have reopened after an overturned tanker truck shut down southbound Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County causing delays during the afternoon rush hour, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
At 3:11 p.m. Thursday, a tanker truck carrying used vegetable oil intended to be turned into biodiesel was traveling in the left southbound lane at mile marker 272 north of the Bruce B. Downs exit, when it attempted to change into the center lane. The driver failed to yield to an Audi A6, sideswiping it, according to the FHP.
After overcorrecting to the left, the 43-year-old driver, Andre Whitehead, lost control and the tanker flipped onto its side.
According to a report, the tractor trailer traveled across the inside lane, left the roadway and came to rest in the center median. The Audi rotated counter-clockwise twice before coming to a controlled stop in the inside southbound lane.
Whitehead was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa to be treated for serious injuries.
FHP officials reportedly do not believe the accident was alcohol-related. No injuries were reported by the Venice couple, ages 75 and 77, in the Audi.
Whitehead was cited for improper change of lane, according to the report.
The tanker continued leaking oil, according to Bay News 9. Southbound traffic is being diverted onto Interstate 275.
Several Hillsborough fire rescue crews, including the haz-mat team, were on scene to assist.
Another tanker was sent to the scene so crews could off-load the remaining oil from the damaged tanker.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.