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Tampa woman, 49, dies in two-car collision; three in other car injured



A 49-year-old Tampa woman died Thursday evening at the scene of a traffic crash.

Tampa police say Betty Jean Tolbert was driving a Ford Taurus east on E Ellicott Street around 8 p.m. when she collided with a 1994 Infinity J30 driven by James A. Canadiate, 29, of Tampa.

Police say Tolbert stopped at a stop sign, but she apparently failed to observe Canadiate traveling north on 34th Street.

Canadiate and his two passengers — 3-year-old Elijah Canadiate and 35-year-old Kechia Fulks, who is pregnant —were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with injuries. Tampa police Lt. Lee Bercaw said they were en route to someone's house.

The three were all in stable condition, he said.

Bercaw said investigators were trying to determine if alcohol or speed were factors in the crash. "That's something we standardly check," he said.

The intersection was closed to traffic for several hours after the crash.

Family of four escapes fire in back of house

An electrical fire cut Thanksgiving short for one North Tampa family Thursday morning.

Calvin Newson and Vivian Gary-Newson were at home with two teenage children just before 7 a.m. when smoke and fire overtook the back office. Gary-Newson told firefighters she awoke, turned on electronics in that room, then dozed back to sleep only to reawaken to the flames.

The family escaped from the home, 8613 N 37th St., unharmed, according to Tampa Fire Rescue Capt. Bill Wade. And though the house had smoke alarms, they didn't sound.

Firefighters from North Tampa, Sulphur Springs, Jackson Heights and Seminole Heights helped bring the fire under control within 15 minutes.

An investigator said it started from an electrical malfunction.

Damage was estimated to be at least $65,000. The American Red Cross helped the family find shelter.

Tampa woman, 49, dies in two-car collision; three in other car injured 11/26/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:06am]
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