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Four injured in St. Petersburg crash; stuck Toyota Camry gas pedal blamed

ST. PETERSBURG — Four people were injured in a four-vehicle crash at U.S. 19 and Central Avenue Monday night that a witness said may have been caused by a Toyota's faulty gas pedal.

St. Petersburg Fire Rescue Lt. Joel Granata said eight people were involved in the 8:30 p.m. crash. Four were taken to local hospitals with injuries that were not considered life threatening. Three people refused treatment and one person fled the scene, Granata said.

Witness Paul Jackson, 42, said he was driving south on U.S. 19 when he saw part of the crash. He said he saw the Camry, which had been going west on Central, flip several times. He pulled into a parking lot and reached the car about the time the female driver was crawling out. The car was on its roof.

"She said the gas pedal got stuck," said Jackson, who said he is a child care after-school worker for the city of St. Petersburg's recreation department. "She said she was just in yesterday to get the car looked at and they cleared it."

Jackson said the woman, whose identity police didn't release late Monday, had several passengers. They also told him that the pedal had stuck.

"They all kept saying that the car wouldn't stop," Jackson said. "When she was coming through the car just didn't stop."

Toyota has briefly stopped selling and manufacturing eight of its most popular vehicles, including some Camry models, and has recalled more than 2.3 million worldwide to fix the gas pedal problem.

Both north- and south-bound lanes of U.S. 19 were closed Monday night as officials investigated.

Four injured in St. Petersburg crash; stuck Toyota Camry gas pedal blamed 02/01/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 11:17am]
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