Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FHP inconclusive about whether texting caused November crash

ST. PETERSBURG — When a white Honda spun off the side of Gandy Boulevard last November, killing the driver as it crashed into a building, law officers speculated that texting while driving might be to blame.

But a Florida Highway Patrol investigation of the crash that killed 29-year-old Manuel Belisario Bonet Jr. was inconclusive about whether a cellphone text message might have caused him to lose control of the car.

In a crash report released Wednesday, troopers noted that Bonet's cellphone was found in the car's wreckage. The phone did receive a text message at the time of the crash, the report said, but, whether that message distracted Bonet from the road could not be determined. Investigators were unable to pinpoint if the message came in before, during or after the crash.

The investigation did find that Bonet might have been traveling as fast as 101 mph as he sped west across the Gandy Bridge, according to the report. At one point just after he crossed the bridge, Bonet narrowly avoided a collision with another motorist as he veered onto the median to pass.

He was moving about the same speed when he lost control of the car, the report said, spinning west and knocking over a wooden power pole before slamming into the side of a radio communications building.

Bonet was thrown through the windshield and died at the scene.

FHP inconclusive about whether texting caused November crash 03/21/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 21, 2013 11:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. University student accused of making bomb threat on Snapchat


    DELAND — A Florida university student is accused of making threats on Snapchat to "bomb" or "gas" the campus.

    Stetson University freshman Griffin Powell, 18, is accused of making threats on Snapchat to "bomb" or "gas" the campus in DeLand.

  2. Tiki Barber will join his brother, Ronde, on Fox broadcast for Bucs-Giants


    FOX announced Monday night that former Bucs cornerback Ronde Barber will have a familiar face joining him as a guest analyst for the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants game in Tampa: his twin brother Tiki, who will join …

    Tiki Barber, right, will join his brother, Ronde, left, as a guest analyst on the Oct. 1 Bucs-Giants broadcast on FOX. [Times files (2006)]
  3. Cannons will fire again when Bucs return to Raymond James Stadium


    As good as the Bucs looked in their season-opening 29-7 win against the Bears on Sunday, fans couldn't help but notice that the success didn't sound the same at Raymond James Stadium.

     Ron Gutschmidt is perched on top of the Buccaneer pirate ship ready to activate the ship's cannons with the press of a button after a Buccaneer touchdown. [LUIS SANTANA | Times]
  4. Rick and Tom podcast: How should Joe Maddon be remembered tonight?

    The Heater

    Rick Stroud and Tom Jones talk about Joe Maddon's return to Tropicana Field for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014 in the latest edition of our Rick and Tom podcast. They discuss the mixed emotions …

    Joe Maddon returns to Tropicana Field tonight for the first time since he left the Rays in 2014. [Getty Images]
  5. Watch live: President Trump's speech to the U.N. General Assembly


    UNITED NATIONS — U.S. President Donald Trump and French leader Emmanuel Macron are expected to take the spotlight at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations — but it's the tough global challenges from the nuclear threat in North Korea and the plight of Myanmar's minority Muslims to the …

    President Donald Trump shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron during a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, in New York. [Associated Press]