St. Pete Woman Dies in Crash After Driving the Wrong Way on I-275
A portion of I-275 south was closed, and traffic to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge re-routed to US 19.
(Editors' note: This article was updated at 11:45 a.m. to include the identities of the crash victims and details on the accident.)
A St. Petersburg woman driving against traffic on I-275 this morning died in a head-on crash that sent four others to the hospital.
The motorist killed in the crash has been identified as 58-year-old Sandra Weems of St. Petersburg, who was driving a 2004 Pontiac, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
David C. Davis, 44, of Oldsmar has been identified as the driver of the second vehicle in the two-car crash. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center for treament of injuries. Davis was driving a Ford Van.
Dragan Radak, a passenger in Davis' Van, also suffered injuries and was taken to Bayfront Medical Center. Vincent Edward Ortiz, 38, and Fehim Dapo, 50, of St. Petersburg, suffered minor injuries, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Two southbound lanes of I-275 were closed, as state troopers investigated the fatal two-car crash, which occurred at 6:38 a.m. When the car and van collided, two of the van's occupants were trapped inside.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the Pontiac was traveling in the wrong direction, against traffic, in the southbound lanes of Interstate 275. The Van was traveling south on Interstate 275 in the left lane.
Despite an attempt by Davis to veer from the oncoming vehicle, the right front of the Pontiac hit the front of the Van. The Pontiac rotated clockwise and came to a final rest facing southeast in the center of the highway.
The Van came to a final rest facing south on the inside shoulder. Weems died at the scene of the crash.
The crash scene is near Exit 16, just before the Miesner Bridge, heading toward the Skyway Bridge. St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue also are on the scene.
Motorists traveling in the area were having to exit at 54th Avenue South, as the route to the Skyway Bridge was closed on the interstate. Access to the Skyway Bridge was via US 19.