FDOT's Road Rangers there to help after mistakes

Posted at 5:17 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 00:28:52-05
As a lot of you tried to get to work, school and appointments Wednesday, heavy bouts of rain caused severe road delays and, occasionally, crashes.
When those crashes happen on a Tampa Bay area interstate road, Rob Lee and his team are there to help.
"We go to work and we help people all day long," said Rob Lee, a District 7 supervisor for the Florida Department of Transportation and a Road Ranger who travels along Tampa Bay area interstate highways helping drivers in need.
He's kind of like an interstate first responder.
And when the weather gets dicey, Lee and his team get real busy.
"It's rain like this that causes a lot of the crashes because people think they can go right through it and that's when they end up making over-corrections and spinning out," Lee said.
Some of the worst spots when it rains, Lee said, are the highway ramps; drivers tend to lose control on those turns, especially the merges around Tampa's airport getting onto I-275.
Lee says it also gets really bad on the Howard Frankland Bridge. In fact, there's a Road Ranger truck dedicated to the important local bridge, and it was very busy on a rainy day like Wednesday.
"I was on this road and there was a big piece of debris in the middle of the highway, explained Lashawna Rancher to ABC Action News about her experience on the Howard Frankland Bridge on Wednesday. "It was like either hit the debris or hit a car. I ended up hitting a tail light or something like that and it shredded my tire."
Rancher thinks she hit debris from a previous crash, so she pulled over, called *347 (FHP) and got help from a FDOT Road Ranger.
"They helped me really fast. I called and they were here in like a minute," explained a thankful Rancher.
A reminder from Rob Lee: Don't underestimate how much longer it takes to brake when it rains.