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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Tractor–trailer and patrol car collide on I–75

A Florida Highway Patrol State Trooper is in stable condition after a wreck on Interstate 75 northbound left his patrol car jammed under a tractor-trailer on Monday.

Trooper Richard Ornowski, 54, was taken to Shands at UF after the vehicles collided less than a mile south of the Newberry Road exit.

At about 11:20 a.m., Ornowski was responding to a call for backup from another state trooper who was working an existing crash at the Newberry Road overpass.

Ornowski was driving north in the left lane when, for an unknown reason, his car swerved to the left, according to FHP spokesman Patrick Riordan.

Ornowski's car then quickly veered to the right striking the metal guardrail in the median with the back left side of his car, he said.

Riordan said that when swerving to the right, Ornowski's patrol car partially entered the center lane where it was struck by the under-cage of an A Truck Line tractor-trailer truck driven by William Shaffer.

While traveling to Illinois in his Chevy Trailblazer, Garry Dillon, 63, said he had just switched to the left lane when he looked in his right side mirror and saw the patrol car skidding.

Dillon said the next thing he knew the trailer he was pulling was clipped by the semitruck.

After pulling over and walking to the crash site, Dillon said Ornowski had gotten out of the car and was laying across the metal guardrail.

Although Dillon could not see any physical injuries, Ornowski was unable to speak, he said.

Two lanes on I-75 northbound were blocked for about three hours following the accident, Riordan said.

He added that no one else was injured in the accident.

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