Four teenagers were seriously injured after the car they were driving in crashed at approximately 12:34 a.m. on Tuesday, January 17.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), the 18-year-old driver of the vehicle passed by a trooper in an unmarked vehicle at speeds approaching 130 miles per hour without their headlights on Interstate 75. As the trooper prepared to make a traffic stop, the driver of the speeding vehicle turned on to the exit ramp towards Gibsonton Drive, lost control, rolled multiple times and crashed into a utility pole and several trees before coming to a complete stop.
The driver and one of the three teenage passengers were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and were thrown from the vehicle. Both were seriously injured and taken to Tampa General Hospital to receive treatment. The other two passengers had their seatbelts on and only suffered minor injuries.
FHP troopers reported that they found open alcohol containers and nearly a quarter pound of marijuana in the vehicle and believe that the driver was intoxicated at the time of the crash.
"It's very fortunate that no one else was injured in this crash, but it's a reminder of what not to do when you get behind the wheel," said FHP spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins. "Especially these people all under 21, they shouldn't have had alcohol to begin with."
Rollover crashes claim the lives of more than 10,000 people in the United States every year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While these types of accidents are more common in vehicles with high centers of gravity like raised trucks and SUVs, any type of vehicle can roll through negligence or wrongdoing. If you were seriously injured in a rollover crash, contact the Tampa car accident attorneys at Robert Sparks Attorneys by calling us at (813) 336-3348 or by filling out our online form today.