Breaking News Blog

Man, 21, dies in possible drunken-driving crash on I-75 in Palmetto

MANATEE -- A 21-year-old man who may have been drunk was killed early Friday when he crashed his car into a parked trailer along Interstate 75 in Palmetto, according to Florida Highway Patrol.

About 5:10 a.m., Leandro Verzini-Fernandez of Sarasota was driving south on I-75 about a mile south of the U.S. 301 interchange when he veered to the right onto the paved emergency lane and collided with a tandem trailer attached to a disabled UPS tractor-trailer, according to a FHP news release.

Verzini-Fernandez's 2003 Honda Civic then rotated clockwise before coming to a final rest in the outside southbound lane of I-75, causing road blockage, troopers said.

Verzini-Fernandez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Troopers said the crash was "alcohol related," and that Verzini-Fernandez was using his seatbelt.

The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.

Southbound traffic on I-75 was slowed for several hours after the crash.