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2 die in crash into building as police prepare for a traffic stop

TAMPA — Two Orlando area men, one wanted for attempted murder, were killed early Thursday morning when their car smashed into the side of a South Tampa building as police tried to pull them over for running a red light.

Two others in the back seat, including a 15-year-old male, were seriously injured.

Driver Roderick S. Jackson, 24, and front passenger Ferrie L. Rowell, 24, died at the scene around 4 a.m. after the car swerved and crashed into the side of Naffco Abbey Floors & Blinds at 1510 S MacDill Ave.

Stacks of tiles could be seen through a hole in the building left by the car, which crumpled and left wreckage strewn across the street.

A Tampa police officer first noticed Jackson's southbound 2006 Toyota Scion when it ran a red light at Swann and MacDill avenues, police said. The northbound officer turned around and drove for two blocks before flipping on his lights and siren.

At that moment, a driver traveling in front of the Scion moved into the right lane, believing she was being pulled over.

When that happened, Jackson, who was also in the left lane and moving into the right, swerved to the left and lost control, police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said.

"Before it could ever become a pursuit," McElroy said, "he immediately lost control and crashed."

Passengers Jamar Green, 22, and Freddie Lee Thomas Jr., 15, both of Orlando, were taken to Tampa General Hospital, where they were listed in serious but stable condition, according to police. Thomas is Jackson's younger brother.

Police found marijuana and crack cocaine inside the car, McElroy said. A .357 revolver was found between the legs of the 15-year-old in the back seat.

The driver of the other car will not be cited.

Rowell had an active warrant for attempted murder out of Orange County.

The three adults — Rowell, Jackson and Green — had 52 arrests between them, according to state records.

Times news researcher John Martin and staff writer Rebecca Catalanello contributed to this report.

2 die in crash into building as police prepare for a traffic stop 03/12/09 [Last modified: Saturday, March 14, 2009 9:51am]
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