A deadly multi-vehicle crash on E. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Tampa, FL claimed the lives of five people late at night on Wednesday, October 26. According to officials, two children aged 9 and 10 were among those killed in the crash.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the driver of the vehicle responsible for the crash was travelling westbound on MLK Boulevard, while three other vehicles were driving eastbound on the road. For currently unknown reasons, the driver apparently lost control of his vehicle, crossed the median, and crashed head-on into a minivan before spinning out and crashing into another vehicle. The minivan caught fire after the impact, and debris from the crash struck a third vehicle. Efrain Rodriguez, a witness to the crash, told WFTS that:
“It was a blue flash… Honestly, it was going so fast that it hopped the median and flew over my car and hit the car behind me, directly behind me. I escaped, it's just traumatic.”
All five people in the minivan were either killed or are in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital – the driver died at the scene of the crash, while the two children died after being taken to the hospital. The other two passengers, 15 years old and 18 years old respectively, remain at the hospital.
Both the driver of the speeding vehicle and his passenger died at the scene.
A video posted to the Snapchat of the passenger in the speeding car a 9:38 p.m. gives more information about the events leading up to the crash. Using the speed filter available on the app, the passenger recorded footage of the driver reaching speeds of 115.6 miles per hour. A friend of the speeding driver told WFTS that he was with the driver go-kart racing at Tampa Bay Grand Prix just before the crash.
All lanes on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard were closed throughout the night following the crash, and only reopened at around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 27.