Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman accidentally drives into Hillsborough River and drowns

The Lowry Park boat ramp on Thursday, where a Thonotosassa woman died after driving into the Hillsborough River on Wednesday evening.

Daniel Wallace | Times

The Lowry Park boat ramp on Thursday, where a Thonotosassa woman died after driving into the Hillsborough River on Wednesday evening.

TAMPA — A woman accidentally drove into the Hillsborough River on Wednesday night and drowned, authorities said.

Migdalia Mendoza, 51, of Thonotosassa was driving to a church event at a friend's house when she got lost, according to Tampa police. Mendoza was on the phone with a friend as she drove through Lowry Park on N Boulevard. The phone call abruptly ended when Mendoza said she was lost, she was in the water and she needed help, according to police spokeswoman Andrea Davis.

Mendoza had accidentally driven down a boat ramp in the city park near the Lowry Park Zoo, and her car quickly sank.

Someone across the river saw the car go in and called 911 about 7:30 p.m., Davis said. Two officers arrived within five minutes, stripped down and dove in.

The officers found the car but were unable to get to Mendoza. They called the Tampa police dive team, and divers pulled Mendoza from the car. It was unclear how much time elapsed before Mendoza was pulled from the water.

Tampa Fire Rescue crews tried unsuccessfully to revive her at the scene, Davis said. Mendoza was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

One of the few light posts at Lowry Park is right by the boat ramp. It was raining when Mendoza drove into the river.

Mendoza's friends and family huddled near a van and a pickup truck in the park as they awaited word Wednesday night. A police officer pointed at one man and motioned for him to come forward. The officer said a few words to the man, who then walked back to the group and collapsed to his knees.

Will Hobson can be reached at (813) 226-3400 or whobson@tampabay.com.

Woman accidentally drives into Hillsborough River and drowns 02/13/13 [Last modified: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge

    Bucs

    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]
  2. Carlton: A moment of sanity when citizens finally said no

    Courts

    If you were looking for some small sign of sanity in the world, here's one courtesy of the people of Tampa and Hillsborough County.

    The Confederate memorial statue outside the old Hillsborough courthouse is now boxed up in plywood to prevent vandalism. Private donors have ponied up money to have the statue relocated to a cemetery. [JIM DAMASKE  |  Times]
  3. Review: Jason Aldean fires up a country-dude party at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

    Blogs

    Country music has a dude problem.

    I’m not talking about the proliferation of mindless bro country over the past half-decade, nor am I referring to the fact that most of Nashville’s best music these days comes not from said bros, from female singers and songwriters.

    Jason Aldean performed at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa on Aug. 18, 2018.
  4. President Trump offers prayers for Kissimmee police

    Blogs

    President Donald Trump reacted to the police shooting in Kissimmee: