Driver found dead after veering off I-275
The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the death of a man found in his car off Interstate 275 in Pinellas County early Sunday. Marcus L. Durham, 35, was driving a 2002 Mazda Millenia when he veered off the highway and into a marshy area near the Roosevelt Boulevard exit, the FHP said. Durham, whose address is undetermined, was found about 5 a.m. and pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy will be conducted, the FHP said.
New York man arrested at TIA
Tampa International Airport police arrested a man from New York late Saturday night after he yelled at airport security screeners. According to an arrest affidavit, Stephen M. Betsch, 42, of Glendale, N.Y., used profanities and swore at the screeners. Police said they tried unsuccessfully to get Betsch to calm down. He was forbidden from boarding his flight and placed under arrest. Betsch was charged with disorderly conduct and violation of a domestic violence injunction in New York and was being held Sunday night in the Orient Road Jail.
Five injured in 4-vehicle collision
Five people were injured in a four-vehicle collision Sunday. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Mary J. Bryant, 89, of Valrico was driving a Chevy Malibu east on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard about 10:30 a.m. when she crashed into a Honda Accord stopped at the intersection of MLK and Gallagher Road. Bryant's car then hit a Nissan pickup turning left onto Gallagher, the FHP said. The impact of that crash sent both vehicles into a Ford Explorer also stopped at the intersection. Charges were pending Sunday night, FHP said. Bryant, the drivers of two other vehicles, Drew R. Herrera, 25, of Dover, and Rivera Dominguez, 32, of Dover, and two passengers, Juan L. Nunez and Jose O. Nunez, whose addresses were unavailable, were taken to Tampa General Hospital.
Woman faulted in crash with cruiser
A Largo woman was charged with driving under the influence after she failed to stop at a stop sign and was hit by a Pinellas County Sheriff's Office cruiser just after midnight Sunday. Nora Gomez, 34, was westbound on 79th Place when she turned left in front of Deputy Daniel Dicicco, 24, who was driving north on Starkey Road. The deputy hit the rear driver's side door of Gomez's Isuzu Trooper. Both Gomez and Dicicco were treated for minor injuries. Gomez was also charged with failure to yield the right of way. She was released Sunday from the Pinellas County Jail on $250 bail.
Lightning strikes church steeple
An early-morning lightning strike appears to have caused a small fire in the top steeple of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Tampa Fire Rescue officials said Sunday. The fire was contained to the attic and was smoldering by the time firefighters arrived about 9:30 a.m. A Tampa police officer noticed that the steeple was glowing and reported the fire, said Assistant Fire Chief Tom Forward. Damage to the church at 4520 S Manhattan Ave. was confined to the attic and roof, Forward said.