Monday, November 20, 2017
Public safety

Police search for pickup truck that may have caused fatal Tampa crash

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TAMPA — Police were searching for a pickup truck that may have caused a crash Sunday evening in which one woman died and several others were hospitalized.

The crash was reported about 7:30 p.m. at W Waters and N Ola avenues.

A white Jeep Cherokee was headed west on Waters Avenue when a Ford F-150 made an "erratic lane change" in front of the Jeep, Tampa police said.

The driver of the Jeep, Gabriela Padilla, swerved to avoid a collision, but struck a Volkswagen Passat, driven by Elizabeth Tristam Barford, heading east.

The truck continued west. Investigators believe the truck, made between 2003 and 2007, is dark gray with an extended cab. The truck has 12-inch black rims, police said.

Barford, 41, of Tampa, died at the scene, police said. Her passenger, Joe Ripley, 32, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

Padilla, 24, and her passengers, 26-year-old Jason Perez-Hechavarri and 23-year-old Edel Gonzalez, were also taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.

It was unclear Monday whether the pickup truck driver knew he was the cause of the wreck.

W Waters Avenue was closed for about four hours Sunday and reopened by 11:30 p.m.

An investigation remained under way Monday.

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