Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office announce the death of a deputy struck by a wrong-way driver.
Hillsborough Deputy, thirty year old John Robert Kotfila Jr., was killed in a head-on collision with a wrong-way driver.
The crash happened early morning just prior to 3a.m. near the Brandon Mall as Deputy Kotfila departing from Tampa General Hospital during a traffic accident investigation, headed eastbound on Selmon Expressway close to Providence Road.
At the same time, thirty one year old Erik Thomas McBeth was driving the wrong way on the Selmon Expressway and heading directly toward Kotfila.
With no time to avoid the crash, the two vehicles violently collided in a head-on crash. Kotfila was taken to the Hospital but later died as a result of his injuries.
McBeth, the driver of the wrong-way vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.
A statement from another driver near the crash, said that Deputy Kotfila pulled in front of her car, thereby protecting her from the head-on collision and taking the full force of the impact.
Florida Highway patrol announced a crash with injuries in Venice at Center Road and U.S 41.
The accident took place as 97-year old Earl Eugene Ephlin was driving on U.S. 41 in his 2012 Lexus approaching the intersection with Center road heading south in the southbound lanes.
At the same time 50 year old Brian Denning from Venice was driving north in a Toyota Camry, heading the wrong way in the southbound lanes, approaching the same intersection as Ephlin.
The two vehicles collided in the middle southbound lane at approximately 10:30a.m.
Ephlin was seriously injured in the crash and flown to Sarasota Memorial for treatment. Denning, sustained minor injuries and was taken to Venice Regional Medical Center. Police have charged Denning with driving on the wrong side of the road.
A car heading the wrong way on interstate 275 in Tampa crashed into a semi truck Sunday.
The violent head on crash killed all three including two passengers and the driver of the car. Florida Highway Patrol identified the victims as Gabrielle and Lakritra Lanier from Tampa and John Pierson from Riverview.
Troopers said the truck had been hauling oil products and the driver of the truck was unharmed in the crash.
FHP is investigating whether or not alcohol was involved. Since February of 2014 there have been four wrong way crashes on I- 275, all with fatalities.
The results from the lab are not expected for at least six weeks.
Sarasota Police reported a serious wrong-way accident in downtown Sarasota that has injured five people.
The head-on crash happened early morning just after 2a.m. when an unidentified man drove his car the wrong way on U.S. 41 near main street.
As the man drove south in the northbound lanes a taxi cab transporting four passengers was heading north. The two vehicles collided head on injuring all four passengers and the driver of the cab. Two of the passengers suffered serious injuries and were flown by bayflite helicopter for emergency medical treatment.
Sarasota Police have not yet stated whether the driver of the car was under the influence of alcohol or not.
Yet another fatal collision caused by a driver going the wrong way on interstate 275 was reported by the Florida Highway Patrol.
The accident happened Friday morning when the driver of a Honda Civic for reasons unknown drove his car north in the southbound lanes of I-275 in Tampa.
The Civic collided head-on with a rental truck heading south. The force of the collision killed the driver of the Civic but the occupants of the rental truck suffered only minor injuries.
The accident forced the closure of the lanes while authorities cleared the wreckage and investigated the crash. FHP has not yet released further details about the accident.
Tuesday morning the driver of a Buick sedan heading south on U.S. 301 cut across the median and proceeded south in the north-bound lanes.
The Buick still driving south in the northbound lanes entered a curve in U.S. 301 at he same time a tractor-trail was entering the same curve from the other side.
The driver of the truck, Otniel Medina attempted to turn to avoid crashing into the Buick but the two vehicles collided violently killing the driver of the Buick.
Due to the nature of the injuries sustained by the the driver it took authorities some time to determine the identity of the driver. Police reported the drive was 83-year old Julian Laney from Venice.
Apparently both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident and it is still unknown why Laney was driving the wrong way or whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.
The driver of a Ford Expedition that drove the wrong way on I-275 and collided head on with a sedan carrying four USF students causing the the death of all involved has been identified.
Florida Highway Patrol has reported that Daniel Morris, a 28-year old from Tampa was at the wheel of the full-sized SUV during the collision.
Further FHP stated that Morris had borrowed the SUV from his friend Scott Enfinger. Enfinger stated that Morris had been staying with him having recently moved to Florida from Michigan.
Due to the severe fire that engulfed the SUV after the crash, the body of the driver required other methods for positive identification.
Police still have not been able to determine why Morris had driven down the wrong way. Witnesses took cell-phone video which shows the SUV speeding down the wrong way at roughly 70 miles per hour.
Other drivers swerved to avoid crashing into the SUV and the video shows no indication that Morris was slowing down or attempting get off the road.