Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police identify men killed in Tarpon Springs crash

TARPON SPRINGS — Investigators believe the vehicle found submerged in a retention pond off U.S. 19 following a fatal traffic crash that downed power lines was racing with another car early Saturday, police said Tuesday.

Police also disclosed the names of the two men killed in the crash: Nicholas Ray Osborn, 37, and Marco S. Valez, 39, of Clearwater.

According to police, about 3 a.m. on Saturday an officer heard a loud "boom" and rushed to the area of U.S. 19 and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The officer found power lines scattered on the road.

An employee from a nearby McDonald's approached the officer and said that he had seen a white car driving north on U.S. 19. He had also seen another car fly through the air, over a 6-foot fence and into a retention pond on the east side of the road.

After power to the area was turned off, investigators found Osborn, who police say was the driver, near one of the fallen poles with power lines on his body. He was pronounced dead.

A dive team later located Valez's body buckled into the passenger seat of the submerged 1998 two-door silver Mercedes, police said.

While police investigated, two other cars struck the power lines on the ground. The driver of an SUV was taken to a hospital, but was treated and released. The other driver and passengers were not hurt, police said.

The accident shut down the southbound lanes of U.S. 19 for hours.

Investigators believe the white car seen heading north on U.S. 19 was racing the Mercedes, according to witness accounts. More details about the vehicle were not available Tuesday.

Osborn's and Valez's families could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Osborn's family lives in Pennsylvania, and it was unclear Tuesday where Osborn was living at the time of the accident.

In Florida, the men do not have criminal records, state records show.

Anyone with information on the traffic crash is asked to call Tarpon Springs police Sgt. Frank Ruggiero at (727)938-2849.

Times staff researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this report. Contact Laura C. Morel at or (727)445-4157. On Twitter: @lauracmorel.

Police identify men killed in Tarpon Springs crash 03/04/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 12:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: What Bucs need in final preseason games, more or less


    That's it. Let's start the season. Start it right now.

    Tom Jones wants to see less of Jameis Winston playing hot potato with the football and throwing it up for anyone to catch. [Getty Images]
  2. 97X Next Big Thing expands to two days; Paramore, the Lumineers lead lineup


    This December, 97X is putting the big in Next Big Thing.

    The Lumineers
  3. Florida prison guards seize weapons, cellphones as statewide lockdown enters day 3


    MIAMI — The unrest continued for a third day at Florida state prisons, as corrections officers — some of them armed — staged a show of force in an attempt to stave off an unspecified threat of violence this weekend.

    Blackwater River Correctional Facility. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  4. Sen. Bill Nelson ready to campaign on GOP failure to fix Obamacare

    State Roundup

    For years, Sen. Bill Nelson has faced a steady barrage of partisan attacks over the Affordable Care Act, but as he begins the 2018 re-election campaign, the Democrat stands to benefit from a flipped script:

     U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson talks to local residents about the Affordable Care Act  at the Sam Gibbons Federal Courthouse in Tampa, Florida on July 3. )OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times)
  5. Tiger Bay panel: End permanent revocation of voting rights for convicted felons


    TAMPA – A panel of elected officials and advocates including Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren argued in a forum Friday that Florida should end its practice of permanently revoking the voting rights of people convicted of felonies.

    Rep. Sean Shaw, D- Tampa, on the floor of the Florida House.[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times