Thursday, January 18, 2018
Public safety

Watch: Tampa road rage tailgater smirks in video, crashes seconds later

TAMPA — A tailgating driver who spun off the road into a light pole this week was arrested Wednesday, the Florida Highway Patrol said. He also got more than 1 million views on YouTube.

Jeffrey Travis White, 33, of Tampa was tailgating another driver Monday on U.S. 41 near Gibsonton, the FHP said.

The driver he was following, Tracy Lynn Sloan of Lakeland, captured the incident, including the crash, on a cellphone video.

She turned it over to authorities and White was arrested Wednesday, based on the video and witness accounts, state troopers said.

White was driving south on U.S. 41 just north of Gibsonton Drive on Monday morning, the FHP said. White passed Sloan and flashed an obscene hand gesture, which she captured on video. He then tried to merge in front of her car but lost control of his 2008 Ford pickup.

The truck spun out, crossed over several lanes and hit a light pole. White fled the scene in his truck, FHP said.

Sloan's recording captures her own laughter as the accident unfolds. "That's what you get, all on video, buddy," she says near the end. Sloan posted the video to YouTube, along with a few paragraphs explaining her version of events.

"This pathetic excuse for a human being tailgated me for about three minutes," she wrote. "After about a minute, and me shaking my head, I pulled out my phone and started recording. I couldn't move over because there were trucks in the right lane, and I sure as heck wasn't going to speed on a rainy day with the roads being as slick as they were. …

"I've recorded circumstances like this before, catching idiots doing stupid things, but never ever had this happen."

Attempts to reach Sloan and White for comment were unsuccessful Thursday.

White faces charges of leaving the scene of a traffic crash, careless driving and failing to wear his seat belt, the patrol said.

Records show White has an arrest record that includes charges of battery and marijuana possession, mostly when he was a teen. Most recently, he was arrested in 2002 and charged with disorderly conduct. Adjudication was withheld, records show.

 
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