THONOTOSASSA — A woman driving with her 11-month-old granddaughter in the car was badly injured Tuesday when another vehicle hit her from behind near Hillsborough River State Park and pushed her into oncoming traffic, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Melinda Principio, 55, of Lakeland, was driving northbound approaching the park on US 301, north of Dead River Road. She slowed to make a left turn into a driveway. Randall Maggard, 50, of Zephyrhills was driving behind her and failed to slow or stop, FHP said.
Maggard's truck collided with the back of Principio's car, sending it into the path of John Creamer, 75, of Plant City, who was driving southbound towing a trailer of farm equipment, FHP said. Principio and Creamer collided nearly head-on and spun onto the north shoulder.
Creamer was taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital. Principio and her granddaughter, Mallorie Pastor, were taken to Tampa General Hospital. Principio's injuries were the most severe, FHP said. She was in stable condition Tuesday night. Maggard was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital. He was ticketed for careless driving.