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Driver strikes moms pushing baby strollers in East Tampa, killing one

Tampa police officers investigate at N 43rd Street near Hillsborough Avenue. The closest streetlight is nearly a block from where the mothers and children were struck.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Tampa police officers investigate at N 43rd Street near Hillsborough Avenue. The closest streetlight is nearly a block from where the mothers and children were struck.

TAMPA — One of two moms struck from behind by a car while pushing their baby girls in strollers down a dark street died Wednesday night, police said.

The 20-year-old woman was six months' pregnant, said Tampa police Lt. Ruben Delgado. Doctors were working late Wednesday to try to save her unborn baby, he said.

The woman and her toddler girl had been taken by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital, said police Lt. Jack Diaz. The toddler was being treated for head and lung injuries that were described as life-threatening.

The other mother and daughter suffered minor injuries and were hospitalized.

Police said it happened at 7:44 p.m. as the women were walking south on N 43rd Street in East Tampa toward a store on Hillsborough Avenue.

The street has no sidewalks alongside it between the Silver Oaks Apartments, formerly called the Johnson & Kenneth Court Apartments, and E Hillsborough Avenue.

Diaz said the area is not very well lit, pointing to a street light almost a block away from the accident scene as the closest source of light.

The women were walking on the edge of the roadway. "They were on the right side," Diaz said.

A driver in a green sedan headed in the same direction told police he did not see the pedestrians, and struck them from behind. The speed limit on that section of N 43rd Street is 25 mph.

Police said the driver, who remained at the scene, was cooperating in the investigation.

No charges were announced, and the identities of those involved in the crash were not immediately released.

Police closed Hillsborough Avenue from N 40th Street to N 47th Street while the investigation was under way. Squad cars blocked the way and evidence markers dotted the scene.

Police reopened Hillsborough Avenue late Wednesday.

The crash marks the second time in less than a month in the Tampa Bay area that a vehicle struck a baby in a stroller.

Last month, authorities said a Port Richey man pushing his infant daughter in a stroller yelled at a driver passing them to slow down and stop speeding.

That driver then backed up to confront the father, but inadvertently ran over the stroller, straddling it under his truck.

The girl was uninjured and the driver was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

Driver strikes moms pushing baby strollers in East Tampa, killing one 11/16/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 17, 2011 12:14am]
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