Man seriously hurt when stolen pickup crashes into big rig near Sumter gas station, FHP says

Crash investigated at Pilot gas station at SR-44, I-75 in Wildwood

WILDWOOD, Fla. – A 20-year-old Gainesville man driving a stolen pickup truck was seriously injured early Wednesday in a crash with a tractor-trailer near a gas station in Sumter County, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The two-vehicle wreck happened around 4:15 a.m. at the Pilot gas station on State Road 44 near Interstate 75 in Wildwood. Eastbound lanes of S.R. 44, west of I-75, are closed.

[EXCLUSIVE: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s FREE) | PINIT! Share your photos]

“(The road will be) closed for an unknown amount of time due to a severe traffic crash. Please use alternate routes,” the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office posted.

The FHP said the Gainesville man was in a stolen 2017 Ford F-250 and was observed driving recklessly at a high rate of speed on I-75 north near the 316 mile marker.

A trooper attempted to stop the pickup, but the driver fled to S.R. 44, the FHP said. The driver exited onto westbound S.R. 44, turned around and traveled east until colliding with a westbound tractor-trailer that was turning left into the Pilot gas station, according to the FHP. Both vehicles ended up in the Pilot parking lot.  

The pickup driver suffered serious injuries and was taken to a hospital, troopers said.

The driver of the big rig, a 57-year-old Dade City man, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, according to the FHP.

The FHP had previously listed the crash as a “possible fatality.”

No other details have been released.

About the Author:

Daniel started with WKMG-TV in 2000 and became the digital content manager in 2009. When he's not working on, Daniel likes to head to the beach or find a sporting event nearby.