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.