PHOTOS: Busy Florida Highway Shuts Down After Thousands of Beers Spill Out of Semi

by Samantha Whidden

A busy Florida highway was reportedly shut down this week due to thousands of beers spilling out of a crashed semi-truck. 

According to Tampa Bay’s Fox 13, the situation happened on Wednesday (September 21st) during rush hour. Several semi-trucks smashed into each other. This caused a “tidal wave of beer” onto I-75 in Hernando County. One of the trucks notably veered onto the shoulder while the other truck stopped on the outside lane. Two additional semis and a pickup managed to stop. However, a fifth semi, which was carrying the beers, crashed into the other vehicles and thus set off a chain reaction. 

The media outlet also reported the SkyFOX view showed workers sweeping up the beers, as well as liquid, off the highway. The accident caused all southbound lanes to close for a few hours. NBC News reports that there were minor injuries from the occupants of the pickup truck. Otherwise, there were no major injuries on the scene.

Prior to Beer Highway Accident, Florida Highway Safety Urged Drivers to Pull Over If Drowsy 

Weeks before the beer highway accident, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles launched its annual Drowsy Driving Prevent Week campaign urging drowsy drivers to pull over. The campaign is to honor Ronshay Dugan, who died in an accident caused by a drowsy driver in 2008. 

Speaking about the campaign, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director, Terry L. Rhodes stated, “Drowsy driving poses more of a threat than most realize. Missing just a couple hours of sleep can significantly increase a driver’s crash risk, putting the lives of those on our roadways in danger. No matter how far your destination may be, driving drowsy is never worth the risk.” 

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles estimates 3,991 reported crashes in Florida involving drowsy drivers in 2021. Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol, explained, “FHP strongly encourages all drivers to be alert when operating a motor vehicle and to take a break if they are having difficulty focusing, are yawning repeatedly, or are drifting into other lanes. Let’s all do our part to keep Florida roadways safe.”

The Florida Highway organization also says throughout September it will be urging drivers to safely pull off the road and take and take a break if they are having difficulty focusing. “Fatigue slows thought processes and reaction time,” the organization explained. “[It] affects judgement and vision, impairs the senses and abilities, and can cause micro-sleeping (nodding off) or falling completely asleep, making it very dangerous to drive.”

Dugans’ father also issued a statement. “The Dugan family will not stop promoting Drowsy Driving Prevention Week until laws are put into place to prevent drowsy driving all over the country.”