WESLEY CHAPEL - All lanes of southbound I-75, and the Exit 275 ramp to SR-56, are open for the Friday morning commute out of Pasco County. Florida Department of Transportation crews worked all day Thursday to repair asphalt that was damaged in a crash and fire early Thursday morning.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a tractor-trailer transporting U.S. mail hit a guardrail structure in the construction zone at Exit 275 around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, causing the truck to jackknife. A dump truck behind the trailer was unable to stop, and crashed into the back of the semi. Both vehicles caught fire. The drivers of both of the trucks received minor injuries and were released from area hospitals.
The US Postal Service was called to the scene to recover mail carried by the tractor-trailer, much of which was damaged or destroyed. Officials say all mail packed into the semi was magazines or advertisement mailers, and that there were no personal mail or packages.
Southbound I-75 was closed until approximately 6:00 p.m., when the inside/left lane was reopened. But for more than 11 hours, southbound traffic was forced to detour at Exit 279, approximately four miles north of the accident zone.
The right lane and SR-56 exit opened just before midnight.
Customers who believe they may have had mail on the postal truck can call: USPS Consumer Affairs Office at (813) 354-6264.