Hillsborough County firefighter from Spring Hill dies in accident

I did it, mom! Armwood High School graduate David Lopez hugs his mother, Marinella Montoya-Ojeda, after a commencement ceremony Monday. More photos from Monday’s ceremonies in Hillsborough are on Page 3B.

STEPHEN J. CODDINGTON | Times

I did it, mom! Armwood High School graduate David Lopez hugs his mother, Marinella Montoya-Ojeda, after a commencement ceremony Monday. More photos from Monday’s ceremonies in Hillsborough are on Page 3B.

Firefighter, 35, father of three dies when car hits pole Sunday

A Hillsborough County firefighter who lives in Spring Hill died Sunday in a car crash. An incident report says Michael Gennusa Jr., 35, was driving on Elgin Boulevard when his Nissan drove off the road and hit a pole. Authorities said he was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene. Gennusa was a medic with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue for 11 years, said Frank Fernandez, the department's personnel chief. He said the department already was dealing with the nonfatal accident of another firefighter when news of Gennusa's death came in. "It was a rough weekend for Hillsborough County Fire Rescue," he said. Gennusa is survived by his wife of seven months, Kristie, as well as his three children: Jordan, Ariana and Austin Holland. "He was a wonderful husband," Kristie Gennusa said. "He was an angel. He was my angel."

Large storm with strong winds batters Pasco area

Fierce winds ripped through northeast Pasco County on Monday evening, toppling trees and knocking down power lines. "All that stuff was straight-line winds from a big storm that moved south through Sumter County and then into Hernando and Pasco,'' said Ernie Jillson of the National Weather Service. The area had been under a severe thunderstorm warning, as Doppler radar showed winds in excess of 60 mph. Calls came in to 911 shortly after 6 p.m. from residents describing downed trees and quarter-sized hail near Blanton and James roads, east of Interstate 75 and south of the Pasco-Hernando county line. There were no immediate reports of injuries, but damage blocked Blanton Road and other streets. Fire Rescue dispatchers reported that a pole barn collapsed on some cars. An emergency management coordinator said winds took down some large oak trees.

Correction

A story Monday about Atlantic stingrays included a photo that showed a school of cownose rays, which are relatively harmless.

Hillsborough County firefighter from Spring Hill dies in accident 06/07/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 12:19am]

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