MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - The driver of a dump truck was killed Monday morning after Florida Highway Patrol says he lost control of the vehicle, which went off the highway, rolled and caught fire.
It happened around 10:45am on I-275 North near U.S. 41, before the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and involved a dump truck from a hauling business out of Tampa. Troopers say 49-year-old Reynaldo Rodriguez of Tampa started to lose control and went off the right side of the road. He attempted to correct by steering to the left, but the dump truck went out of control and overturned on the shoulder.
Shortly after the crash, troopers say two police officers from St. Petersburg were driving by and tried to help pull Rodriguez from the wrecked vehicle, but they were unable to because of the angle of entrapment. Shortly afterward, the dump truck burst into flames and they were forced to retreat.
Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene.
The highway was closed completely while crews put out the fire and was down to one lane for several hours as Florida Highway Patrol investigated.