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Reckless Driving Leads to Multi-Vehicle Collision on Howard Frankland Bridge

Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) continue investigating a crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge. The crash occurred at approximately 5:20 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12, 2024.

19-year-old Rolando Joaquin Garcia of Spring Hill was driving a Ford Focus eastbound in the inside lane of I-275 on the Howard Frankland Bridge. Meanwhile, a 74-year-old Sarasota woman was driving a Lexus RX350 eastbound in the outside lane of I-275.

A Toyota Camry and a Nissan Frontier were parked and unoccupied in a construction zone adjacent to the roadway.

According to troopers, Garcia was driving recklessly at high speed, changing lanes erratically, and causing other drivers to take evasive actions.

Near Milepost 34, the Focus overtook the Lexus and attempted to pass it on the outside shoulder. However, due to a construction zone, the concrete barrier along the shoulder left no space to pass.

Traffic cam photo of crash scene on Howard Frankland (fl511)

The Focus was forced back into the travel lane and collided with the Lexus. The impact caused the Lexus to rotate, hit a guardrail, overturn off the roadway, and collide with the Nissan. The Focus veered off the roadway and collided with the Toyota.

Both drivers were transported to area hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver of the Ford Focus, Rolando Joaquin Garza, was charged with Reckless Driving by FHP Troopers.

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