Flatbed hauling bulldozer goes off I-75 next to Alafia River

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - A flatbed truck hauling a bulldozer went off I-75 over the Alafia River bridge early Friday afternoon, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

A spokesperson from the Florida Highway Patrol said it appeared the truck was traveling southbound in the outside center lane on the highway when the driver lost control shortly after 12:30 p.m.  The tractor trailer, operated by M. D. Towing, Inc. out of Jacksonville, then veered left into the paved shoulder, hit the concrete barrier wall and overturned.

The vehicle, which was transporting a bulldozer, fell 45 feet to the marsh below.  The wreckage is imbedded in a very thick swampy terrain along the north shoreline of the Alafia River.

The driver, 29-year-old Jeffery Scott Cook, sustained serious injury, but he was immediately rescued by an on-duty Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy with the assistance of an off-duty Hillsborough County Reserve Firefighter.  Cook was taken to Tampa General Hospital. 

One lane on SB I-75 has been closed, and divers from the sheriff's office are assisting in the recovery of the mangled flatbed wrecker and bulldozer.

abcactionnews.com will have more as information becomes available.

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