2 Killed in Wrong-Way Crash in St. Petersburg
Wrong-way driving is a serious issue on roadways. Whether a person is tired, intoxicated, or simply confused while behind the wheel, the results can be catastrophic and even deadly.
Sadly, this was recently the case in Florida. Two people were killed when a wrong-way driver collided with their vehicle head-on. The fatal accident occurred on the evening of December 6 on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in St. Petersburg.
Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol were called to assist the sheriff’s office in trying to stop the driver of a stolen Ford Mustang. A 22-year-old from Hialeah had stolen the vehicle and collided with a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office patrol car before speeding away. The Mustang then traveled southbound on Interstate 275.
A chase ensued, continuing south to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. A trooper tried to stop the Mustang when it reached the bridge, but the Mustang hit the trooper’s car and continued south to the top of the bridge. It then turned around and rammed the trooper’s car again and went speeding the wrong way back down the southbound lanes.
The driver of the Mustang continued speeding down I-275 until he collided head-on with an Uber van near the northern rest area. The Uber driver, a 33-year-old man from Bradenton, was killed in the crash. So was a passenger, a 52-year-old man from Ohio. Two passengers in the Uber, a 51-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, also from Ohio, were seriously injured in the crash.
The trooper inside the patrol car, a 27-year-old man, was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the Mustang suffered serious injuries in the crash and was hospitalized. He faces multiple criminal charges including felony murder, vehicular homicide, fleeing police, driving with a suspended license, and battery on a law enforcement officer. Since death is involved, the charges are aggravated and will result in stricter penalties.
Due to the accident, the southbound lanes of Interstate 275 were shut down overnight. The roads did not reopen until almost 7 a.m. the following morning.
Wrong-way accidents are rare, accounting for less than 10% of all auto accidents. However, when they do occur, they are often catastrophic. Almost half of wrong-way accidents are the fault of a drunk driver. Other causes include poor visibility, lack of familiarity with the area, fatigue and poor signage. Some drivers may do it intentionally as a way of a shortcut or thrill seeking. Wrong-way driving often happens on two-lane roads and freeways, although they can happen in parking lots and garages as well.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Wrong-way crashes are often fatal. Drivers need to stay in the proper lane and avoid driving recklessly
Involved in a crash? Get the help you need from a Bradenton car accident lawyer from Cahall Law Firm. We’ll make sure you don’t do anything to jeopardize your case. Schedule a free consultation today by calling (941) 281-2019 or filling out the online form.