On Friday, September 20th, an early North Tampa
car accident held up morning commuters and resulted in a single fatality. Two cars
collided head-on at Morris Bridge Road and Pictoral Park Drive.
According to information provided by detectives, the head-on collision
took place early in the morning around 4:00am. A Honda Accord headed northbound
on Morris Bridge Road when it drifted off the road, crossed the safe zone
median, and entered oncoming southbound lanes. The Honda struck a southbound
Ford Explorer head-on.
Hillsborough County Fire Heavy Rescue Unit crews worked to cut the driver
out of the wreckage. The vehicle’s sole occupant, Rita Marie Sutliff
of Zephyrhills, was pronounced dead on the scene by emergency responders.
The driver of the Ford Explorer, Kunjummen Arun Babu, was taken by paramedics
to a nearby hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. As
Hillsborough County detectives worked to sort through the accident scene
details, Pasco County deputies arrived to help control Friday morning traffic.
County detectives told reporters that both drivers had been wearing their
seat belts and that each car was travelling at about 50 miles per hour.
According to accident report details, authorities had ruled out any impairment
from drugs or alcohol and determined they were not a contributing factor
in the crash.
Authorities were unable to determine whether the deceased driver fell asleep
at the wheel or experienced any health complications in the seconds leading
up to the collision. The cause of the crash is pending further investigation.