Cleanup, regular traffic continues after North Port tanker crash

NORTH PORT, Fla. – A Fort Myers man was sent to the hospital and thousands of gallons of oil were spilled onto Interstate 75 after the man lost control of a his gas tanker early Sunday morning.

The truck flipped several times in the eastbound lanes at the 178 mile marker around 5 a.m., according to Florida Highway Patrol.

The driver, Gregory Farley, 45, is being treated at Sarasota Memorial Hospital with serious injuries, authorities said. Farley was the only person involved in the crash.

FHP has not determined the cause of the crash, but said Farley was trying to steer the tanker back to the road after drifting into the median. The truck’s trailer flipped several times, separating from the front of the truck, according to FHP.

The trailer landed on its left side, dumping 8,500 gallons of oil onto the interstate and completely blocking the eastbound lanes on I-75, FHP said. The tanker trailer was removed from the interstate around 6 p.m.

Crews worked into Sunday evening cleaning up the fuel and repaving the interstate, while FHP closed a nine-mile stretch of southbound lanes on I-75.

Traffic was backed up at least three miles north Sunday. Drivers were asked to use US-41 as an alternate route and cars on I-75 near the marker were diverted onto Toledo Boulevard Sunday.

The southbound lanes were reopened by Monday evening, though the smell from the spill lingered.

There is no environmental danger to the nearby community, authorities said Monday.

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