Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Concrete pole in Dunedin figures in another car crash

DUNEDIN — A 62-year-old Dunedin man became the latest victim of a dangerously placed concrete pole on Main Street near Lady Marion Lane, after his sport utility vehicle slammed into it and trapped him inside for more than an hour Monday morning.

The crash is one of several with the pole in recent years, according to Dunedin Fire District Chief Trip Barrs. The pole is one of two that are increasingly worrisome for officials.

The roughly 40-foot-high structures, one on either side of State Road 580, or Main Street, appear to have once supported a sign, said Kris Carson, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation.

"They don't seem to really serve any purpose right now," she said, adding that the agency was going to begin the process of taking the poles down.

In Monday's crash, rescuers worked for an hour to extract Richard J. Szczerbacki from his Saturn SUV.

Szczerbacki was traveling west on Main Street when he appeared unable to merge from the far right lane and crashed into the concrete structure, Barrs said.

"There's no reason for the poles to even be there," said Curtis Delancey, who manages a nearby store. The poles are just an unnecessary risk for drivers, he said.

Near the crash site at 1260 Main St., the road narrows from three lanes to two. Witnesses to the accident told authorities that the Szczerbacki's vehicle began to swerve before it crashed into the pole.

"If you fail to make that merge, you will hit this pole," Barrs said.

Szczerbacki was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with non-life-threatening injuries. His condition was not available.

Police still are investigating to determine what exactly caused the crash.

But the Szczerbacki crash isn't unique.

Dunedin officials couldn't figure precisely how many crashes have occurred at the spot, but a similar accident to Monday's occurred in May 2004, Barrs said. In that instance, two people were injured.

"The cracks on that pole are not just from today," he said.

In Szczerbacki's case, the Saturn ricocheted off the pole and spun completely around. His foot was pinned between the gas and brake pedals and the floorboard.

"Every time we tried to move him, he would scream out in pain," Barrs said. "What a mess."

Times photographer Douglas R. Clifford contributed to this report. Brian Spegele can be reached at or (727) 445-4154.

Concrete pole in Dunedin figures in another car crash 08/10/09 [Last modified: Monday, August 10, 2009 7:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. No easy answer to the Dunedin parking question

    Local Government

    DUNEDIN — Nothing has been more divisive in this city than the issue of paid parking.

    A server at Cafe Alfresco (background) claims Dunedin's new paid parking has cost him money. Dunedin began a paid parking last October. Nine months in, residents, business owners and city officials all share mixed feelings. In October, when the one-year program ends, the city will have until November to come up with another solution to its parking woes, or continue the paid parking program at the risk of angering locals.JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Tampa Bay Lightning, Amalie Arena to host job fair today


    TAMPA — The Tampa Bay Lightning and its home, Amalie Arena, are hosting a part-time job fair from 3 to 6 p.m. today on the Promenade Level of the arena. Available positions include platinum services, parking attendants, event security, housekeeping, retail and many other departments.

    The Tampa Bay Lightning and AMALIE Arena is hosting a part-time job fair on Thursday, Aug. 17 on the Promenade level of the arena.
  3. Nearly 1 in 4 Tampa Bay homeowners considered equity rich

    Real Estate

    If your home is worth at least 50 percent more than you owe, you're rich — equity rich that is.

    About one in four Tampa Bay homeowners are considered "equity rich." [Associated Press file photo]
  4. Trump strategist Steve Bannon: No military solution in North Korea


    BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon says there's no military solution to the threat posed by North Korea and its nuclear ambitions, despite the president's recent pledge to answer further aggression with "fire and fury."

    Steve Bannon, chief White House strategist to President Donald Trump, has drawn fire from some of Trump's closest advisers. [Associated Press]
  5. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press