Good samaritan saves man from burning car
An anonymous hero pulled a 35-year-old man from the burning wreckage of a car crash Tuesday night — then slipped away from the scene before anyone could find out who he was. The driver, Michael J. Simmerman of Lutz, suffered only minor injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol says Simmerman was speeding west on Leonard Road, north of Cot Road, about 9:30 p.m. when he ran off the road trying to negotiate a curve. The front passenger side of Simmerman's 2004 Toyota Corolla struck an electrical box, troopers said, but Simmerman kept driving. He then struck a tree and spun out before the Corolla flipped and caught fire, troopers said. Simmerman was charged with improper change of course and driving with an invalid license. Officials investigating the crash said they do not think alcohol was involved in the wreck. Simmerman was wearing his seat belt.
Medical worker charged in abuse
An employee at the Royal Oak Nursing Center was charged this week with elderly abuse. Police say she slapped a 90-year-old resident several times. Stacie Starcher, 36, is a certified nursing assistant who worked at the facility at 37300 Royal Oaks Lane. She was getting ready to give the woman a bath about 9:30 a.m. July 22 when Starcher got upset and slapped the woman across the face, according to the Dade City Police Department. The woman was not injured. Authorities say they do not know how hard the woman was struck or what prompted the slap. Another employee saw the incident and reported it to a supervisor. Starcher was arrested Tuesday at her home on Poinsettia Avenue and taken to Land O'Lakes Jail, where she was held Wednesday in lieu of $5,000 bail. A representative from the Royal Oak Nursing Center declined to comment, saying only, "you need to talk to the police about that."
2 children badly hurt in collision
Two children were taken to the hospital with serious injuries after a traffic crash Tuesday afternoon. Jamillicia El-hoursi, 12, and Jamira Young, 5, both of Tampa, were inside a minivan headed east on State Road 54 near Curley Road. The Florida Highway Patrol says the minivan turned left, into the path of an oncoming semitrailer truck, which could not avoid hitting the van. The impact sent the minivan spinning around SR 54. El-hoursi and Young were airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital. Minivan driver Jasmine Dixon, 16, of Wesley Chapel, suffered minor injuries, as did passengers Jamira Dixon, 31; Rachel Dixon, 10; and Michael Dixon, 7. All wore seat belts. Semitrailer truck driver Timothy Brooks, 40, of Brooksville was not injured. FHP was investigating to determine whether charges will be filed.
Detailed obituaries appear in the Tampa Bay section.