Friday, June 22, 2018
Public safety

Construction worker pulls teenager from underwater car after she drives off Brandon I-75 ramp

BRANDON — A 17-year-old girl was rushed to the hospital Monday morning after she drove into a body of water off Interstate 75 and was pulled from her sunken car by a nearby construction worker, officials said.

It was not immediately clear why Natasha Marie Thompson, 17, of Tampa veered off the I-75 ramp that leads to the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway.

She drove off the ramp, landing about 50 feet north of the roadway in a body of water about 20 feet deep, officials said.

As the car sank, a nearby construction worker, Terry Stiles, 56, of Madeira Beach, dove into the water and pulled the woman out of the car, state troopers said.

Thompson was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where she remains in serious condition, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Divers from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office checked the car for other victims, but there was no one else inside at the time of the crash.

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