INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A man was flown to a hospital after a crash on Florida's Turnpike sent his pickup over a guardrail and ripped off his front axle and both front tires Tuesday, according to highway officials.
The crash happened just before 11 a.m. at the St. Lucie County Line, and led Florida Highway Patrol state troopers to close southbound lanes until roughly 12:15 p.m.
Emergency workers took the man by helicopter to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center & Heart Institute in Fort Pierce about noon, according to footage from Florida Department of Transportation highway cameras.
Indian River County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Kyle Kofke described the man's injuries as traumatic.
Kofke said a semi tractor-trailer was also involved but its driver refused medical treatment and the vehicle was undamaged.
Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Yanko Reyes said the gray Dodge Ram rear-ended a blue Freightliner tractor trailer.
The pickup sustained major front-end damage and went over the inside guardrail. Its front axle and both wheels separated from the body and blocked one lane of traffic.
State troopers arrived at the crash just after 11 a.m. and a helicopter landed at roughly 11:30 a.m.
After tow trucks carried away debris from the highway, southbound lanes were opened to traffic shortly before 12:30 p.m.
Corey Arwood is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm. Follow Corey on Twitter @coreyarwood, or reach him by phone at 772-978-2246.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Pickup driver flown to hospital with 'traumatic injuries' after crash on Florida's Turnpike