A mid-afternoon heavy rain shower on Sunday resulted in multiple auto accidents from Polk County to Tampa, causing significant delays on both I-4 and I-95.
The I-4 pile-up occurred at about mile marker 55 in Polk County, which is the same vicinity as the massive smoke-related accident back in January 2008. As the skies opened up, the brake lights started to come on and the heavy rain made it impossible for some drivers to stop. In all there were about 30 vehicles involved and luckily most had only minor damage. Only four of the victims were taken to local hospitals by ambulance. Adding to victims problems was the was the heat and heavy humidity they had to endure waiting for investigators and wreckers to clear the scene.
In Tampa there was a major traffic jam resulting from a 17-car and one charter bus accident on I-75 north between SR 60 and Martin Luther King Blvd. There were 6 injuries reported, none of them life threatening.
Also in Tampa, a rain soaked Howard Franklin Bridge only added insult to injury for Buccaneer fans whose team lost again. There were about 8 auto accidents involving as many as 50 cars that shut down the Howard Franklin for about 3 hours. This bridge is a major thoroughfare from Tampa across the bay to St. Petersburg. There were no reports of injuries in these accidents.