A 41-year-old Bonita Springs woman and child were seriously injured Wednesday after a pickup truck’s bed liner flew off and obstructed her view, causing her to swerve and get hit by a dump truck on Interstate 75 in North Naples.
Laura E. Lopez and 5-year-old Johonna Lopez were airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital after the 10:57 a.m. crash on the southbound lanes, just south of the Immokalee Road exit, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. Both were wearing seat belts and suffered unspecified serious injuries, FHP troopers said.
The driver of the pickup, José F. Vazquez, was charged with unsecured load/equipment resulting in serious injury, while the Mack dump truck driver, Wayne Louis Cyr, 61, of Naples, was not injured, the report said.
The FHP report gives this account:
Lopez was traveling south in the center lane, while the pickup truck was in the outside lane, followed by the dump truck. The pickup’s bed liner slid off the truck and landed in the southbound center lane, obstructing Lopez’s view and causing her to swerve southeast to avoid it.
Her Nissan Altima rotated clockwise into the outside lane, entering the dump truck’s path and causing it to hit the right rear of Lopez’s car, which spun around.
Her car came to a stop on the paved shoulder, facing northeast, while the dump truck came to rest facing south on the southbound outside lane. Vazquez stopped his pickup truck on the paved west shoulder, just south of the crash.
Traffic backed up after the southbound lanes were temporarily closed to allow two medical helicopters to pick up the woman and child. All lanes of traffic reopened after more than two hours.
The FHP cleared the scene after Trooper Jeff Benoit investigated. The 2007 Mack dump truck received $5,500 in damage, while the 2007 Altima was totaled, with $16,000 in damage.
POSTED EARLIER: Center and left lanes of southbound I-75 are open to traffic now; right lane is still closed.
A vehicle crash with injuries has temporarily closed the southbound lanes of Interstate 75 in North Naples.
The interstate lanes were closed shortly after an 11 a.m. crash near mile marker 110, about a mile south of Immokalee Road. A helicopter was landing on the roadway to transport an individual injured in the crash, the Florida Highway Patrol reports.