Sarasota Police Department investigating May 23 incident
The Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit is investigating a fatal crash that happened just before 5 p.m. on Monday, May 23, at the intersection of University Parkway and North Tamiami Trail/U.S. 41, Genevieve Judge, the department’s public information officer, reported.
Officers responded to the scene following an advisory about a vehicle having crashed into a semi-truck near the intersection, Judge wrote in a news release.
The adult female driver of an SUV was heading southbound on North Tamiami Trail, “when for unknown reasons” her vehicle crashed into the rear of the semi-truck, Judge explained. “The woman died on the scene as a result of her injuries,” Judge added.
“It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol played a factor in the crash,” Judge pointed out.
“The driver of the semi-truck, an adult man, stayed on the scene and was cooperative with officers,” Judge noted.
The Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit, the department’s victim advocate and Criminalistics Unit responded to the scene, she continued. The intersection of University Parkway and North Tamiami Trail was closed for several hours for the investigation.
Information that Judge posted on the agency’s Facebook page indicated that the intersection had reopened shortly before 9 p.m. on May 23.
Her original post, which went up shortly after the incident occurred, warned motorists that all southbound lanes of U.S. 41 were closed at the University Parkway intersection. “Additional lane closures are expected,” she noted. “Please find alternate routes for your evening commute. There are life-threatening injuries reported,” she wrote.
One woman who commented on the post said that she saw the vehicles after the crash, adding that the front half of the SUV “was literally under the semi truck …”
Yet another woman commented that the driver of the SUV passed her just before the crash occurred; the SUV driver appeared to be texting, the writer added.
One person commented, “This is a HORRIBLE INTERSECTION.”
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) shows that the average annual daily traffic (AADT) count for vehicles westbound on University Parkway near the U.S. 41 intersection is 24,000. For traffic northbound on U.S. 41, just south of the University Parkway intersection, the AADT is 33,500.