Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Public safety

Driver stung by wasp drives into Hudson home

HUDSON — Cathy Compton was on her lunch break Tuesday when her husband called. He said he'd been stung by a wasp. Bill Compton, 72, is allergic to wasps and didn't have medication with him. He told his wife he was driving on Hudson Avenue.

"Pull over," his wife, 59, told him.

Then she heard a terrifyingly loud sound, then silence.

She screamed and her husband didn't answer. Mrs. Compton drove to Hudson Avenue and, near the intersection with Peach Tree Road, she saw flashing lights. When she pulled up about 12:30 p.m., she saw that her husband's pickup was plunged inside the corner of a mobile home.

Her husband was alive.

"He seems to be okay," said Mrs. Compton, of Bayonet Point, as she was about to leave the scene to follow the ambulance taking her husband to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point for treatment. She thought he might have been driving to try to get to a store for medicine. She said Benadryl has helped when he's been stung before.

The truck crashed into a storage shed attached to the house. It didn't appear that the truck breached the home.

James Byrd, 56, said he was asleep in his bedroom with his chihuahua Chiquita when the whole room began shaking.

"I thought it was a hurricane," Byrd said.

He went outside and was surprised to find the truck in his house, which is in Forest Green Mobile Home Park. Byrd said he's lived there for 20 years.

"I'm upset," he said. "I ain't got no shed now."

He said the things broken didn't appear to have been meaningful to him: A George Foreman grill, some Christmas decorations, a few tools.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. Sgt. Steve Gaskins said drivers are not cited in cases where the driver suffers an uncontrollable medical condition.

"There is no statute for getting stung by a bee," Gaskins said.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6229.

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