An apparent tire blow out caused the driver of a crane to lose control and careen into a ditch off I-75, where he was pronounced dead at the scene Thursday afternoon, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The one-vehicle accident occurred around 1 p.m. near mile marker 229 in Manatee County, closing the entrance ramp from CR-6 to I-75.
The driver has been identified as John Lenny Wells.
The crane belongs to the company, Action Crane. The owner of the company said Wells worked for the company for three years. The owner said they recently got the tire fixed and it blew.
The owner described Wells as a devoted family man and said he’ll truly be missed.
“He was a fantastic family man, he did everything for his family and his baby,” he said.
A southbound lane of I-75 was blocked for part of the afternoon but reopened soon after.
A go fund me account has been set up to help Wells's family with funeral expenses and to help with his daughters education.