Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Five killed in two crashes Sunday on Pasco roads

Josh Brock didn't have much about himself posted on Facebook. Just albums packed with photos of his son, Jason — as a newborn at the hospital, as a baby at home, as a toddler gawking at fish in a giant aquarium.

Those photos now preserve the memory of two lives cut tragically short.

Brock, 22, and his 18-month-old son were among the five people killed in two separate fiery crashes Sunday night, one of the deadliest few hours on Pasco County roads in recent memory.

The young father and son were driving north on U.S. 98 in Trilby about 10 p.m. when Brock crossed the center line "for unknown reasons" into oncoming traffic, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. His Oldsmobile collided head-on with a semitrailer truck, which skidded across the highway, slowed to a stop on the shoulder and burst into flames, troopers said.

Brock and his son died at the scene. So did the truck driver, Leslie C. Blanton, 56, of Riverview. Her husband, Michael W. Blanton, 53, suffered minor injuries and was not hospitalized.

Efforts to reach their family members Monday were unsuccessful.

That crash came less than an hour and a half after a collision in Hudson killed two people.

Albert Friedman, 81, of Hudson was driving north on U.S. 19 near Denton Avenue about 8:40 p.m. His Volkswagen swerved from the center lane into the right lane, hitting the back of a Saturn sedan, the FHP said. The cars rotated, overturned and slammed into a light pole, troopers said.

The crash killed both people in the Saturn: driver Brigette Ewing, 44, of Spring Hill, and passenger Vincent F. DiCristo, 44, of Port Richey.

Friedman was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point with serious injuries. Troopers said Friedman was under the influence of alcohol. Charges are pending.

Ewing's husband and two daughters gathered Monday at her home in Spring Hill, trying to make sense of what had occurred, still clearly shocked.

A native of New York, Ewing lived with her husband Frank DeRosa and their two teenage children in a tidy, salmon-colored ranch home on Monterey Street. She has another son, Jack, from a previous marriage who is in his early 20s.

DeRosa, 51, and Ewing were together for about 25 years, 20 of them as husband and wife. The couple moved to Spring Hill about 15 years ago.

"She was a good mother," said DeRosa as he stood in his foyer with son Frankie, 14, and daughter Lucy, 16. Both teens attend Nature Coast Technical High School, south of Brooksville.

Ewing most recently worked for a company that sells timeshares until she was laid off, her family said. She loved to travel, and over the years had visited Hawaii, Europe and cruised the Caribbean several times.

"She always helped me when I had problems," Lucy DeRosa said.

Mr. DeRosa described DiCristo as a friend of Ewing's. The family said they weren't sure where they were coming from when the crash happened but said Ewing has an uncle who lives in the Port Richey area.

Frankie DeRosa choked back tears as he recalled his mother.

"I loved her to death," he said. A moment later, his father shut the door.

Mary Kenney can be reached at or (727) 869-6247.

Five killed in two crashes Sunday on Pasco roads 08/06/12 [Last modified: Monday, August 6, 2012 10:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Florida GDP growth in first quarter 2017 ranks 21st among states, still outpacing U.S.

    Economic Development

    Florida's gross domestic product or GDP rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter, slightly faster than the nation's growth of 1.2 percent and placing Florida 21st among the states for growth rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    Not too hot. Not too cold.

    These Jackson Square Townhomes began hitting the west Hillsborough County market late last year and continued to be sold into the first quarter of 2017. The real estate sector was the biggest driver of Florida's gross domestic product, which rose 1.4 percent in the first quartrer of 2017.  [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  2. Coming to Netflix in August: 'The Defenders,' 'Death Note' and more

    Krysten Ritter, Finn Jones, Charlie Cox and Mike Colter in Marvel's The Defenders.
  3. Report: $36 million worth of guns stolen in Florida in four years

    Public Safety

    An estimated $36 million worth of guns was stolen in Florida from 2012 to 2015, according to an analysis released this week by the Center for American Progress.

    Broken glass litters the floor of Tampa Arms Co. after thieves drove a pickup  through the front of the gun store and stole more than 40 weapons, including handguns and semiautomatic rifles. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  4. A 94-year-old's tricycle was stolen and St. Petersburg police need help finding it (w/video)


    ST. PETERSBURG — Police are working to unite a 94-year-old man with his motorized tricycle that was stolen outside of a CVS.

    Police are working to unite a 94-year-old man with his motorized tricycle that was stolen outside of a CVS. Richard Griffin used the bike as his main means of transportation, police said, and doesn't have the $2,700 he'd need to replace it. Police released surveillance video of the theft on July 26, 2017,  a week after a man made off with the bike, hoping it might help them find the trike's captor. [Photo from video]
  5. Whale shark captured on video by diver near Naples


    A man scuba diving near Naples captured a giant whale shark on video, a rare treat in these waters.

    A man diving near Naples took video of this giant whale shark.