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Wrong-way driver causes Tampa crash, injuring three

TAMPA

Wrong-way driver causes crash; 3 hurt

A driver was traveling the wrong way on Interstate 275 for 1 to 2 miles before he crashed into another car, seriously injuring its passengers, Florida Highway Patrol officials say. They say the crash was alcohol-related. Officials say Ryan Suarez, 32, of St. Petersburg entered the northbound lanes of I-275 from either Kennedy Boulevard or Memorial Highway, and started driving south just after 3 a.m. Sunday. Andrew Ryan and Melissa Quick of Tampa, both 20, were driving north on the same stretch of interstate south of Kennedy Boulevard when they saw the car coming at them. Ryan swerved, but the front of Suarez's car hit the driver's side, and both cars spun out. All three survived and were transferred to Tampa General Hospital. Ryan and Quick were seriously injured, and Suarez received minor injuries. All were wearing seat belts. Florida Highway Patrol officials say charges are pending results of a blood-alcohol test.

PINELLAS PARK

Man crashes, dies after police chase

A traffic stop turned fatal early Sunday when a man suspected of driving under the influence fled from police and crashed into a tree. The driver, Morris Feaster, 24, of St. Petersburg was headed south on 49th Street in the area of 94th Avenue N about 3:30 a.m. when a Pinellas Park police officer tried to stop him, police said. Feaster accelerated to such a speed that the police officer stopped his pursuit and lost sight of Feaster. Soon after, Feaster's vehicle slammed into a tree near 84th Avenue N and 49th Street. He was taken to Northside Hospital, where he later died. Feaster's driver's license was suspended in March because of traffic issues, police said.

LAKELAND

90 dogs found in woman's home

Authorities say a woman is facing animal neglect charges after investigators found 90 dogs living in poor conditions at her Polk County home. The Polk County Sheriff's Office found the dogs living in "unacceptable conditions" at 57-year-old Carolyn Bragg's home Saturday. Authorities believe Bragg was selling puppies out of her home. A Sheriff's Office Animal Control veterinarian is expected to examine the dogs. The Sheriff's Office said the puppies appeared to be in fair condition. Authorities are still investigating.

JACKSONVILLE

Two men charged in lottery scam

Two Jacksonville men are facing criminal charges after a stolen lottery ticket worth $20,000 was redeemed. Kenneth Hayes and James Picray have been charged with dealing in stolen property, records show. Picray also faces a grand theft charge. An arrest report states several books of lottery tickets were stolen from a Jacksonville store. Hayes cashed a winning ticket. While he was at the lottery district office, a surveillance camera captured Picray waiting in the lobby.

Hollywood

Officer killed when patrol car crashes

Hollywood police Chief Chadwick Wagner says an officer was killed when his patrol car crashed and burst into flames. Wagner said Officer Alex Del Rio's car caught fire Saturday night after it hit a palm tree. The patrolman was the only person in the vehicle, and police said there were no other injuries. Wagner said Del Rio, 31, was a nine-year veteran of the department who was "extremely liked."

Times staff, wires

Wrong-way driver causes Tampa crash, injuring three 11/23/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 24, 2008 2:49pm]
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