TEMPLE TERRACE — A 30-year-old woman died early Tuesday in a fiery car crash that blocked Fowler Avenue for several hours, police said.
Michelle Denise Meade was eastbound in a Volkswagen Jetta on Fowler Avenue, trying to turn left onto Raintree Drive when she was broadsided by a Honda Accord, Temple Terrace police said.
The Accord burst into flames after the 2:15 a.m. crash.
Meade, who police said had been staying with a friend in the Raintree community, was declared dead at the scene, said police Capt. Greg Pauley.
Accord driver John Feiga, 21, was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he was in serious condition.
The aftermath of the crash left both cars mangled. The Jetta's engine was ejected in the impact and lay on the ground nearby. The cause of the crash remained under investigation.
Both cars would have faced flashing yellow lights at the intersection of Raintree Drive and Fowler Avenue, police said. The speed limit in the area on Fowler is 50 mph.
Westbound lanes on Fowler were closed for several hours because of the investigation.
It is believed Meade had just left work before the crash. She worked at Tally Ho Pub Bar and Grille on 56th Street, south of Temple Terrace.
Meade's stepfather, George Huettel of Coral Springs, said she had majored in business, marketing and dance at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He said she was finishing her last week of work and planned to move back to Coral Springs with him and her mother.
"She was a great, fun-loving young woman," said Huettel. "She was the sunshine of everyone's life."
Feiga, who was driving west on Fowler at the time of the collision, has no traffic or criminal violations in Florida, according to records. Meade was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2002, and has had other traffic violations including following too closely in 2007, according to records. Police said Tuesday they did not think alcohol was a factor in Tuesday's crash.
Times staff writer Jodie Tillman contributed to this report.