Man jailed after crashing into overpass on Interstate 75

Steven Andrew Brandt

A 68-year-old Gainesville man was arrested after crashing his vehicle into the Cross Florida Greenway Land Bridge overpass on Interstate 75 in Ocala.

Steven Andrew Brandt was charged with two counts of driving under the influence with damage to property of another after the wreck, which happened the morning of Sept. 11.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper received a be-on-the-lookout order (BOLO) for a silver-colored car traveling recklessly on southbound I-75. A witness was behind the vehicle and reported the car was crossing all three lanes of travel and even going off the roadway, according to the FHP report.

The witness said at one point, the vehicle struck the center metal guardrail and continued south. The witness stayed behind the vehicle from mile marker 356 until it left the roadway again, north of the Cross Florida Greenway land bridge at mile marker 343. The witness said the vehicle left the paved portion of the road to the right and rotated counterclockwise before striking the base of the overpass, the report said.

The trooper spoke with Brandt at the crash scene and didn’t detect the odor of any alcoholic beverage, but he did appear to be somewhat confused and disoriented. Brandt said he didn’t know what happened but had taken prescription pain medication and a muscle relaxer the previous night. He said it was new medication and that he had felt dizzy in the morning, but not so dizzy that he thought he couldn’t drive, according to the report.

After failing a series of field sobriety tests, Brandt was arrested and taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was released later in the day on $2,000 bond. No court date was set.