On September 2, 2013, a fatal Sarasota truck crash occurred that left a tanker truck driver dead. According to authorities, the tanker truck lost control and overturned on Interstate 75 around 9:40 a.m. on Thursday morning.
The Florida Highway Patrol indicated the crash took place near Bee Ridge Road at mile marker 206 on I-75 southbound. The truck, a sanitation truck from Southern Sanitary, was heading southbound in the outside lane. For unknown reasons, the truck driver crossed all three left lanes and went into the median. The truck then struck a cable barrier and overturned.
Sadly, 42-year-old Patrick Thomas Harrel, of Sarasota, was pinned under the truck, and firefighters had to remove him. He was pronounced dead at the accident scene. His passenger, Fredi Estrada-Bustos, was taken to Doctor’s Hospital with minor injuries.
Following an investigation into this crash, authorities learned that the truck driver reportedly veered in front of a pickup truck, causing the pickup truck driver to slam on his brakes. However, the front of the pickup and side of the tanker truck collided. The pickup truck, driven by Robert Owen Richterkessing, 24, ended up overturning in the median as well. Amazingly, Richterkessing was not injured in the crash.
Investigators are still looking into this Sarasota truck crash to determine why the tanker truck veered out of control. The Sarasota County Fire Department said it may have been weather-related. No charges have been filed at this time.
Our Sarasota accident attorneys at the Mallard Law Firm would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Patrick Harrel and wish Mr. Bustos a quick recovery.