FHP: Florida deputy, 22, killed after driver tries to merge into his lane

A 22-year-old Florida deputy was killed on Sunday morning in a crash on I-75, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Antonio Hernandez had served with the sheriff's office since July.

According to FOX 13, troopers say a 72-year-old man from Bradenton was traveling northbound on I-75 around 4:50 a.m. directly beside Hernandez who was also traveling northbound. When the 72-year-old driver tried to change lanes, the left rear side of his van collided with the front side of Hernandez’s car, according to FHP.

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Troopers say after impact, Hernandez’s car was redirected into the grassy median where it crashed into a steel pole located on the median.

Hernandez, who troopers say was not wearing a seatbelt, was taken to Manatee Memorial Hospital where he died.

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"We are deeply saddened by the unexpected loss of one of our own today," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook. "This morning Deputy Antonio Hernandez died from injuries sustained in a traffic crash, while off duty.

Antonio began his law enforcement career with Palmetto Police Department before joining MCSO in July of this year, having recently completed his deputy training.

Please keep the Hernandez family, friends, and his law enforcement family in your thoughts and prayers."