THONOTOSASSA — Two people are dead after their car collided head-on with a Sweetbay semitrailer on U.S. 301 near the Pasco County line Monday morning.
Both occupants of the 1996 Dodge Avenger — Justin D. Crum, 26, and his passenger, a 24-year-old Jacksonville woman — died at the scene. Officials have not released the woman's name.
The truck was traveling in the correct lane at the time of the accident, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Its driver, Carlos Eduardo Villanueva, 45, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
Both directions of U.S. 301 between McIntosh and Chancey roads were closed after the crash, which happened at 5:18 a.m., because of the investigation and large amounts of debris and spilled diesel fuel. The road reopened about 3 p.m. Monday.
Meanwhile, Hillsborough deputies have charged a Tampa man with burglary, battery and attempted auto theft, saying he tried to steal a witness' vehicle.
While at the crash scene, Deputy Carl Luis saw Colby Wade Cardoso, 20, climb into a 2001 black Ford pickup truck and try to start the vehicle. The owner's 5-year-old granddaughter was still in the back seat, deputies say.
Cardoso wasn't able to start the truck, and he ran away.
Luis caught up to the suspect, but as Luis tried to detain Cardoso, he became violent and struck Luis several times and tried to take Luis' gun from his holster, deputies reported.
Luis and Cardoso each suffered upper-body injuries and went to local hospitals for treatment, deputies say.
Cardoso was arrested and will face charges of burglary of an occupied vehicle, attempted grand theft auto and battery on a law enforcement officer, among other charges.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at (813) 226-3433 or email@example.com.