Florida Highway Patrol trooper seriously injured in crash

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A Florida Highway Patrol trooper has serious injuries following an early morning crash.

Troopers said a female driver from Valrico was traveling westbound on State Road 60, just west of Smith Ryals Road. She was approaching a road closure before 2 a.m. Monday.

Construction caused both directions of the road to be shut down. Troopers said a marked FHP vehicle was sitting in the roadway with the emergency lights activated. They said it was meant to warning oncoming drivers of the road closure.

Troopers said the 28-year-old driver didn’t stop, and rear-ended the patrol car. They said Sgt. Leif Cardwell has serious injuries, and was transported to Lakeland Regional Hospital. They also said he didn’t have a seatbelt on at the time of the crash.

The Valrico driver has minor injuries. Troopers said charges pending.