Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Five vehicles strike pedestrian in fatal Brandon crash

BRANDON — Ricky Polk was driving through Brandon to his job at a chemical plant early Friday morning when he saw two women on the side of the road, jumping up and down and crying.

Then he felt his car hit something and saw a figure in the rear-view mirror.

"And I said to myself, 'That felt like a body,' " Polk said.

Polk got out of his car and tried to wave the drivers on E Bloomingdale Avenue away from the man. Another driver ran over him before stopping as well. Two more drivers hit the victim, but kept going.

"That's what got me. How can you hit somebody and drag them under your vehicle and keep going?" said Polk, 56, a Temple Terrace resident who is also a pastor at Greater Mount Carmel AME Church in Tampa.

Ronald J. Sandalic died after being hit by a car and run over by four other drivers while lying in the road.

Sandalic, a 57-year-old homeless man, was wearing dark clothing as he tried to walk south across Bloomingdale Avenue about 4:30 a.m. near Maze Lane, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Madison A. Dvorak, 19, who was headed east in a 2005 Ford Focus, ran into him, throwing Sandalic 70 feet to a spot in the middle of the road.

As Dvorak of Dover stopped and phoned 911, Polk approached in 2005 Toyota Tacoma pickup and struck Sandalic, deputies said. Polk stopped, got out and tried to wave drivers away from the injured man.

Sandalic got hit a third time by a 2005 Ford Crown Victoria, deputies said. The driver, John Gallagher, 57, of Valrico stopped and waited for deputies.

Saldalic was then struck by two pickup truck drivers who sped away without stopping, deputies said. The accident prompted deputies to detour traffic in the area for several hours.

Pedestrian fatalities involving that many vehicles are uncommon, but do happen on roadways that are busy or have dark spots, sheriff's spokesman Larry McKinnon said.

"We have it up on a lot of the busier highways like U.S. 41 and U.S. 301," he said.

Because Sandalic was already dead when the last two trucks hit him, the drivers likely would not face charges, sheriff's officials said. Still, detectives are trying to track them down.

Polk said he is still struggling with the fact that one driver didn't stop for him as he was waving them away, and two others kept going after hitting another human being.

"Compassion should've stepped in some kind of way," Polk said.

Anyone with information about the two truck drivers can call the Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.

Dan Sullivan can be reached at dsullivan@tampabay.com or (813) 226-3386.

Five vehicles strike pedestrian in fatal Brandon crash 02/28/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 28, 2014 11:17pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Man faces DUI manslaughter charge in fatal Largo scooter crash

    Crime

    A Clearwater man faces a charge DUI manslaughter after deputies say he fatally struck a scooter rider in Largo on Sunday night.

    James Mayer, 42, of Clearwater, faces a charge of DUI manslaughter in a fatal crash involving a scooter on Aug. 20, 2017, in Largo. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Bucs roundtable: Time for another kicking panic?

    Bucs

    Five days after the beleaguered Roberto Aguayo got cut after missing a PAT and a field goal, new Bucs kicker Nick Folk had a PAT blocked and missed a field goal.

  3. Have your say Tampa Bay on the region's future transit options

    Mass Transit

    TAMPA — It's time, yet again, for Tampa Bay residents to tell officials what kind of transit options they want for their region.

    The Cross-Bay Ferry docks at the Tampa Convention Center on its maiden voyage on Nov. 1, 2016. A regional premium transit study will determine whether a ferry, or other options such as express buses or light rail, would be a good addition to Tampa Bay. [SCOTT KEELER  |  Times]
  4. Today, a total eclipse of the sun will span the entire United States, crossing from the West Coast to the East Coast, for the first time in 99 years. (Dreamstime/TNS)
  5. What is poke? Here's how to make the Hawaiian dish at home

    Cooking

    In Hawaiian, "poke" simply means "to cut."

    Tuna Poke Bowl: For a classic poke bowl, try this recipe with ahi (yellowfin) and only a few other ingredients.