Saturday, December 16, 2017
Public safety

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 [email protected] or (727)445-4157. On Twitter: @lauracmorel.

Comments

Two die in head-on crash on Gunn Highway in Odessa

ODESSA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a head-on crash on Gunn Highway that killed two and sent a child to the hospital Saturday afternoon.About 12: 45 p.m., Terry Lee Bronschidle, 70, of Tampa was driving his Chevy Traverse south on...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning while battling a fire at a strip mall on W Waters Avenue, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the blaze started around 2:45 p.m. in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply, located at ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Published: 12/15/17
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Published: 12/15/17

Tampa bicyclist, 52, dies after being rear-ended by vehicle; no charges

TAMPA — A 52-year-old man riding a bicycle was killed early Friday when he was struck from behind by a car in Seminole Heights, according to Tampa police.The incident took place at about 12:15 a.m. Wayne Kersh, 52, was riding his bicycle in the eastb...
Published: 12/15/17
After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

TAMPA — A 46-year-old man was arrested Friday and accused of setting fire to a vacant Ybor City bathhouse hit by arson at least two other times earlier this year.Two Tampa police officers spotted smoke from the vacant building at 1512 E Eighth Ave. a...
Published: 12/15/17

FHP: Overturned pick-up slowed traffic on northbound Howard Frankland

ST. PETERSBURG — A pick-up truck towing a car onto the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge overturned and crashed on the shoulder, causing back-ups for motorists trying to get to Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident was reported...
Published: 12/15/17
New video shows cows beaten and burned at Florida dairy farm

New video shows cows beaten and burned at Florida dairy farm

The Miami Beach-based Animal Recovery Mission has released a video from its undercover abuse investigation at a Central Florida dairy farmThe graphic video, with disturbing images of cows cruelly being beaten, speared, stabbed and burned, was shot by...
Published: 12/15/17

Missing Child Alert canceled for Port St. Lucie girl, 17

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been canceled for a 17-year-old Port St. Lucie girl who was last seen on Thursday.The case involving Heaven Flores has been resolved, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Published: 12/15/17

Hudson pedestrian killed while crossing U.S. 19

HUDSON — A Hudson man was killed Thursday night while crossing U.S. 19.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 59-year-old Gerald Berube was crossing the northbound lanes of U.S. 19 north of Stahl Drive around 6:40 p.m. when he walked into the path ...
Published: 12/15/17