About 1:45 p.m., Scott Divell, 45, of Clearwater was driving south on U.S. 27 in a semi-truck hauling a sailboat reported to be about 32 feet long, when the truck’s front tire blew out, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The truck veered off the road into the median and hit a guard rail just before a bridge near Lake Streety Road, the FHP said.
The impact caused the semi-truck to catch fire and the sailboat to partially detach.
Polk County Fire Rescue said the semi-truck trailer was destroyed and about 150 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into a nearby creek. Hazmat crews are working to clean up the spill.
Divell received minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital, FHP said. He was wearing a seatbelt.
Fire Rescue spokesman Brad Ruhmann said the road is expected to be closed for several hours as crews clean up and investigate.
The Florida Department of Transportation is advising southbound drivers to detour onto Otto Polk Road to Frostproof Clay Pit Road to Avon Park Cutoff Road and then back onto U.S. 27. Northbound drivers are being directed onto South Scenic Highway.
Polk County Fire Rescue assisted the Frostproof Fire Department in extinguishing the fires. FHP is investigating.
This posting will be updated.