Head-on crash on SR 54 kills 2, injures Another
Two people were killed and a third person was seriously injured in a head-on collision Christmas morning on a dark stretch of State Road 54 near Odessa. Florida Highway Patrol investigators said Donald P. Holes, 52, of Jacksonville was driving his 1989 Toyota sedan east in the westbound lane of SR 54 near Altamont Lane when his vehicle struck the front of a 2006 Cadillac driven by Ernest L. Flanagan, 77, of New Port Richey. Holes was pronounced dead at the scene. Flanagan was taken to University Community Hospital in Tampa, where he died. His wife, Rose L. Flanagan, 82, was his passenger. She was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where she was listed in critical condition Thursday afternoon. All of the victims were wearing seat belts. Friends and relatives could not be reached Thursday for comment. The Highway Patrol said the accident occurred about 5:10 a.m. on a divided stretch of SR 54, about a quarter-mile west of the Suncoast Parkway. The crash remains under investigation.
Man hospitalized after apartment fire
An apartment fire sent a 58-year-old man to a hospital in serious condition early Thursday, according to Tampa Fire Rescue. Firefighters rushed to the J.L. Young Apartments, 8220 N Florida Ave., to respond to an alarm and reports of heavy, black smoke on the third floor.
When they arrived at 2:17 a.m., crews stormed apartment 306, where they found Raul Pagan inside, unconscious. He was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital for smoke inhalation and listed in serious condition. He was reportedly flown by medical helicopter to an Orlando area hospital for treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.
Fourteen other apartments were temporarily evacuated because of the smoke, but rescuers said the fire was relatively small and under control by 2:40 a.m. A woman suffered a minor injury while evacuating and was taken to St. Joseph's in good condition.
Preliminary fire marshal reports say the fire started on a couch and is not believed to be arson.
Fire displaces 24 residents of inn
A fire started by a man smoking in bed Thursday damaged the Lakeview Residence Inn at 465 Seventh Ave. N, displacing 24 residents who were relocated with the help of the Red Cross. No injuries were reported. St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue officials said a resident on the building's third floor dropped a lit cigarette, which set his mattress afire. Water damaged 25 rooms in the building, fire officials said.
Unsolicited calls top list of complaints
Violations of the Do Not Call law again top Florida's consumer complaint list.
For an initial cost of $10 and an annual $5 renewal fee, Floridians can be placed on a list of consumers who do not want solicitation calls. The agency received 5,006 complaints of sales calls made to people on the list. Other complaints touched on: travel and vacation plans; credit and banking; communications; price gouging; motor vehicle sales; motor vehicle repairs; landlord-tenant issues and construction issues.
Infant dies in bed with grandmother
A 3-month-old infant died Wednesday in Ocala after her grandmother rolled over her in bed, CFNews13.com reported. According to the report, Ocala police said the baby was in bed with two siblings and the grandmother. The infant's mother was not home at the time. When the mother returned home, she noticed the infant under the grandmother. Police have ruled the baby's death accidental.
Staff and wire reports