PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida Highway Patrol troopers have charged a man with careless driving after his dump truck crashed and caught fire on Interstate 75 Thursday.
Sgt. Steve Gaskins said Ahmed Montano, 31, of Tampa, told troopers he was looking at his side mirror when he crashed into a concrete barrier wall near mile marker 285, just south of State Route 52 in Pasco County.
The truck came to rest on the outside shoulder of the road and burst into flames just after 3 p.m.
Troopers said Ahmed was not injured.
“A split second distraction, looking off to the side of the car, or whatever, happened and caused a massive chain reaction for other people as well,” Gaskins said.
Southbound lanes were closed after the accident and did not reopen until around 4 a.m. Friday.
Mac McCormick said two dump trucks pulled in front of him and his wife while in a construction zone.
“As we were passing them, I look up in the cab and the guy has a cell phone in one hand on the steer wheel, cigarette, and he’s looking underneath the dash, and I said ‘pass this guy, he’s not paying attention,’” McCormick said.
No one came to the door at Montano’s home on Friday.
News Channel 8 learned he owned the dump truck and his commercial driver’s license is up to date.
State records show he was ticketed for a crash before.
It is unclear how much road repairs will cost.
Officials with the Florida Department of Transportation said a contractor will handle repairs since the damage happened while the company was working in a construction zone.
The contractor will pursue reimbursement for its costs from Montano and his insurance, company officials say.
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