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A rough few weeks on Hillsborough County roads

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image A tow-truck driver begins the difficult process of removing a large dump truck from a landscaped embankment near Mira Bay on U.S. Highway 41 on July 30. Photo Mitch Traphagen

By Mitch Traphagen

It has been a rough few weeks on Hillsborough County highways. On Saturday, seven people were injured in an 11-vehicle pile up that included a semi-truck on I-75 near the Brandon exit. A week earlier, also on I-75, a motorist lost control of her vehicle near the Ruskin / Sun City Center exit and collided with three motorcycles, two riders of which sustained serious injuries.

There were no injuries on Tuesday, July 30, but more than a few people in Apollo Beach, Mira Bay and Ruskin may have experienced a loss of electricity and internet service when a blown tire on a dump truck caused the truck to careen off the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 41, striking a TECO power pole before finally coming to a rest on its side well up a landscaped embankment near Mira Bay. The power lines landed on the highway, along with fiber optic lines providing internet service to Brighthouse customers. The driver of the truck, Mahadeo Roopnarine from AR & Sons Trucking in Palmetto, was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured in the crash. He was not cited for the accident, which occurred at 4:13 p.m., and created a backup for homebound rush hour commuters.

The Florida Highway Patrol estimated damage to the truck at $20,000, damage to the TECO power lines and pole at $30,000, damage to the landscaping at Mira Bay at $1,200 and damage to the Brighthouse Fiber Optic lines at $10,000.

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