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Mail on fire after Postal Service 18-wheeler crashes along Florida interstate

Florida Highway Patrol

Smoke rises from the burnt-out remains of a U.S. Postal Service tractor-trailer carrying mail in Florida March 21.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers were investigating the scene of a grisly accident along Interstate 75 in Pasco County, Fla., Thursday, after a dump truck crashed into a U.S. Postal Service tractor-trailer that caught fire after crashing into the road's median guardrail.

The drivers were able to get out of both trucks before each became engulfed in flames, but much of the mail was damaged or destroyed by fire, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Members of the U.S. Postal Service were on scene to recover what they could Thursday morning.

The tractor-trailer was traveling south along I-75 in the outside lane when it hit a crash attenuator and partially jack-knifed at around 6:30 a.m., Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins said. Unable to stop in time, the dump truck following behind rear-ended the trailer.

Florida Highway Patrol

Damaged and destroyed mail is seen among the wreckage of the fiery crash along Interstate 75.

No injuries were reported, but both drivers were transported to area hospitals for observation. 

Mark Alan Berrier, 55, the driver of the mail truck, was transported to University Community Hospital in Tampa.

Manuel Francisco Rodriguez Rivera, 42, the driver of the dump truck operated by R&D Hauling of Land O'Lakes, Fl., was transported to Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, Gaskins said. 

Gaskins said repair crews have determined the damage to the roadway would require the southbound lanes of I-75 to remain closed until 6 p.m. EST Thursday, while the roadway asphalt is replaced.