BRADENTON, Fla. - Manatee County Deputy Antonio Hernandez, 22, died Sunday morning in a traffic crash on I-75, while he was off-duty, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
Troopers say a 72-year-old man from Bradenton was traveling northbound on I-75 around 4:50 a.m. directly beside Hernandez who was also traveling northbound. When the 72-year-old driver tried to change lanes near the S.R. 64 exit, the left rear side of his van collided with the front side of Hernandez’s car, according to FHP.
Troopers say after impact, Hernandez’s car was redirected into the grassy median where it crashed into a steel pole located on the median.
Hernandez, who troopers say was not wearing a seatbelt, was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital where he died.