Debris in roadway causes fatal crash on I-275

- It's a horrible accident that could happen to any driver: A Tampa man, driving on I-275, was killed after a large piece of metal crashed through his windshield.

Now, Florida Highway Patrol is trying to figure out where that debris came from.  They want to make sure it doesn't happen again. They also want to give the family of Leo Landin some much-needed closure.

It hasn't quite hit home yet for Landin's family.

"We are still in shock. We still don't get it. I still think he's going to come through that door," said his sister, Laura Landin.

The 33-year-old left for work Friday morning, just like any other day.

"He told her, 'Mom, I leave now, give me a kiss.' And that was the last kiss that she gave to her son," Landin said, translating for her mother, Rosa Delgado.

FHP says around 2 p.m. Friday, Landin's pickup truck was traveling south on I-275 near Lois Avenue. Out of nowhere, a large piece of metal came crashing through his windshield.

"Some type of debris, what we assume was coming off of a larger-type vehicle -- commercial-type tractor-trailer, something of that nature -- separated from the vehicle, had become airborne, or had been in the roadway previously and was kicked up by another passing vehicle," said Sgt. Steve Gaskins of Florida Highway Patrol.

Landin was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.  He died Saturday from his injuries.

FHP believes it was accidental. But they want to know where it came from because these types of crashes happen far too often.

"The last three years -- 2013, 2014, 2015 -- you're looking at almost 4,000 road debris crash cases across the entire state of Florida," Gaskins said. "This is something you do need to be aware of, that we take seriously. We would like to be able to find some closure for the family, for the final documentation on what occurred."

Gaskins urges commercial drivers to maintain their vehicles and their loads to prevent these potentially deadly crashes.

As a precaution, he urges regular drivers to stick to the speed limit, maintain a good following distance from other vehicles and don't drive distracted.

"She don't have her son no more because of that. It's not fair that she don't have her son," Laura Landin said, speaking for her mother.

Landin's family says he was a hard worker who always put family first. They say he didn't smoke, drink, or go out to clubs. They say he was a careful driver.

They not only want answers, they want awareness, so no other family has to feel the pain that they do.

"The only thing I ask that we can have justice because of the irresponsible persons that we have on the highway," said his father, Leonardo Landin, Sr., "that the death of my son is not in vain."

"It shouldn't happen to him, not to nobody," added Laura Landin. "It's not fair the way that my brother died. It's not fair for him because he did not deserve that."

You can help prevent accidents like this from happening again. If you ever spot debris in the road, call FHP as soon as it's safe to do so.  Just dial *347 on your cell phone and they'll send someone out to pick it up.

If you have any information that could help investigators piece together the crash that killed Leo Landin, troopers want to hear from you.

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