Four People Struck, Killed While Changing Flat Tire on Florida Highway

Four people were killed in Sarasota, Florida, on Thursday night when a car hit them while they were changing a flat tire, according to the local sheriff's office.

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said the incident occurred just before 10 p.m. on the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 near Fruitville Road.

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) said in a release that a pick-up with a towing trailer was unoccupied and stopped on the inside of the highway's paved shoulder because of a flat tire on the trailer.

Seven men who had been in the truck were standing outside to help change the tire when a sedan veered into them. The car hit the truck before striking and killing four of the men.

The four were pronounced dead at the scene. Their names and ages haven't been released. The other three men weren't hit and were not injured in the crash.

The state patrol said the sedan was driven by a 34-year-old woman with a 32-year-old male passenger, both of Lakeland. They were not injured and their names have not been released.

Southbound I-75 was closed until 3:30 a.m. Friday, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said, but it has reopened.

The FHP said the crash remains under investigation.

A similar incident occurred on the same interstate earlier in the year. A man from Zephyrhills, Florida, died on February 15 after FHP troopers said he was struck while fixing a flat tire.

The report said the 24-year-old man was driving southbound on the I-75 exit ramp onto U.S. 301 in Hillsborough County when his Ford Mustang got a flat. He pulled his car over along the shoulder and was walking over to the passenger side to inspect the tire when he was hit by a driver of a Ford F-150.

According to a press release, the Ford truck's 27-year-old driver failed to maintain the lane as he took the same exit and collided with the Mustang and its driver.

The Zephyrhills man was transported to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries. The FHP said the pick-up's driver was uninjured in the crash.

The highway patrol also did not release the names of any of the people involved in the February incident due to the department's interpretation of Marsy's Law. The law, a voter-approved amendment to Florida's constitution, is meant to protect crime victims but also restricts the public of information that had previously been available under the state's public records laws.

Newsweek contacted the Florida Highway Patrol for comment about Thursday's crash but did not hear back in time for publication.

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Four men were killed on Thursday night while changing a tire on Interstate 75 in Sarasota, Florida. iStock