RUSKIN — A teenager died after being thrown from the bed of a pickup that veered off U.S. 41 and struck a light pole early Saturday in southern Hillsborough County.
Around 4 a.m., Cesar Cervantes, 23, of Holly Springs, N.C., was driving the 2002 Dodge Ram with six passengers, mostly teenagers.
Two of the passengers, 15-year-old Nativada Cervantes and 17-year-old Lazaro Espinosa, were riding in the bed of the pickup truck, according to information released late Sunday by the Florida Highway Patrol.
Cesar Cervantes was headed north on First Street SW when he left the road at the intersection with U.S. 41. The truck went up on the grass embankment and flew into the air, striking a light pole on the east shoulder of U.S. 41. As the vehicle rotated counterclockwise across the road, the two teens in the bed were ejected.
Nativada Cervantes of Riverview died at the scene. Espinosa, who lives in Gibsonton, was treated for serious injuries at Tampa General Hospital.
Driver Cesar Cervantes was treated for serious injuries at Tampa General.
Passenger Melane Rodriguez was treated for serious injuries at TGH. Passengers Victor Cervantes of Riverview and Marco Rosario of Holly Springs, N.C., both 15, sustained minor injuries.
Passenger Garriel Cervantes, 18, of Riverview was not injured.