Man jumps off Howard Frankland Bridge to avoid being hit after crash

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Firefighters rescued a man who jumped off the Howard Frankland Bridge late Tuesday night to avoid being hit by a car that was headed toward him.

The accident happened at 10 p.m. at the 36 mile post on the Pinellas side of the bridge.

Florida Highway Patrol investigators say a Ford 350 was traveling northbound on I-275 and was towing a trailer when the trailer became separated from the truck. The truck and trailer became disabled in the inside lane. The driver and two passengers then got out of the truck to try to secure the trailer.

A Toyota Corolla was driving in the left lane and was not able stop for the Ford 350 and its trailer. The driver of the Corolla hit the rear of the trailer.

Ismel Hernandez, 41, of Land O’ Lakes, was trying to secure the trailer and saw the Corolla headed toward him. He jumped off the bridge to avoid being hit by the Corolla.

St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue crews responded to the crash. Hernandez was in the water when rescue crews arrived. He had to tread water until fire crews rescued him. Hernandez was taken to Tampa General Hospital for evaluation.

The driver of the Corolla, David Rivera, 24, of Kissimmee, was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital classified as a trauma alert due to injuries from the accident. A third patient was also taken to TGH for evaluation and a fourth patient was treated and released on scene, according to a SPFR spokesperson.

The driver of the Ford 350 was issued a citation for improper/unsecured load.

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