ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A speeding, swerving driver is being blamed for the 10-car crash that closed all but one lane of the Howard Frankland Bridge during rush hour this morning.
It was just after 8:30 a.m. when the pile-up happened on the St. Pete side of the bridge's northbound span. The scene was so chaotic that troopers initially weren't even sure how many cars were involved. Some vehicles were stopped in the middle of the road; others had slammed into the concrete barriers on each side.
Troopers say one person sustained serious injuries and two others suffered minor injuries, and the emergency response left only one lane open, backing up Tampa-bound traffic for hours.
VIDEO: SkyFOX's view of the crash scene
Ultimately, troopers determined a Hyundai Sonata started the chain of crashes. They say Ivan Hall was driving in the right emergency shoulder lane when he suffered a tire blow-out and lost control of the car. The vehicle hit seven other vehicles before coming to rest; several of those other vehicles ended up being knocked into other vehicles in turn.
According to the accident report, Hall was driving unsafely even before the wreck.
"Prior to the crash occurring, [the Hyundai] was observed traveling at a high rate of speed, completing multiple lane changes to include utilizing both emergency shoulders prior to the tire blow-out, during which time another vehicle sustained minor damage to its windshield from debris," the report stated.
Charges are pending against the 62-year-old St. Pete man, who was the most seriously injured in the crash. He was remains at Tampa General Hospital in serious but stable condition.