Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Woman with boy in lap plows truck into TIA wall, damaging an aquarium, killing fish

TAMPA — A woman with a 6-year-old child in her lap crashed her small truck into the side of Tampa International Airport on Monday night, damaging an aquarium outside the American Airlines baggage claim.

Tire marks show the 1994 red Ford Ranger's path over the curb and into the tank, barely missing a concrete pole on the left and the airport's tiled wall on the right.

Yamile Campuzano-Martine, 36, was waiting to pick up a relative when she lost control of the truck.

It's unclear what caused the 9:20 p.m. crash, but TIA spokeswoman Brenda Geohagan said the woman had been sitting there "for a while."

Campuzano-Martine was cited for careless driving, having a child without a restraint and failing to provide a license.

A 17-year-old was also in the truck. The 6-year-old boy had minor injuries that did not require treatment, Geohagan said.

Most of the fish weren't so lucky.

The tank's thick, clear plastic front was intact, but damage to the pipes underneath caused water to drain out to the sidewalk, road and carpet inside the building.

Geohagan said airport employees gathered up the 30 to 40 Indo-Pacific saltwater fish and put them in a bucket until Florida Aquarium staffers arrived.

For about 90 percent of them, it was too late, Geohagan said.

Al Illustrato, senior director of airport maintenance, watched Tuesday morning as officials from the Florida Aquarium inspected the dry aquarium and looked for surviving hermit crabs.

Aquarium employees are keeping vigil over the four or five fish still alive, Illustrato said. "They're just so fragile."

The 1,500-gallon tank, named El Movimiento del Mar, is part of the airport's public art collection. It was unveiled in 1999 and cost $200,000.

Geohagan said airport officials are determining how much it will cost to fix it and replace the creatures.

Tom Wagner, an aquarium spokesman, said the fish cost about $50 to $500 each, depending on size and species. He said the airport has an open-ended contract with the aquarium to care for the tanks, and it's not yet known if it'll replace the fish with the same varieties or bring in new species. Right now, the priority is caring for those lucky few that might survive, Wagner said, not to mention mourning the others.

"Our biologists were visibly upset over this," he said. "It's a lot of fish, and they've spent the last three to four years raising them from juveniles. They certainly had a number of years left with them."

Woman with boy in lap plows truck into TIA wall, damaging an aquarium, killing fish 11/10/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 11:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. U.S. Pacific commander: Remains of sailors found on USS John McCain

    Military

    SINGAPORE — The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet says a number of remains of Navy sailors were found in a compartment of the USS John McCain, a day after the warship's collision with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters left 10 sailors missing.

    The damaged port aft hull of USS John S. McCain, left, is seen while docked next to USS America at Singapore's Changi naval base on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Singapore. The focus of the search for 10 U.S. sailors missing after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters shifted Tuesday to the damaged destroyer's flooded compartments. [Associated Press]
  2. Florida education news: Solar eclipse, gender gap, new schools and more

    Blogs

    TOTAL ECLIPSE: More than 8,000 Hernando County students skip school after their school district gives them excused absences for the day. Students who …

    Students at Bayonet Point Middle School observe the solar eclipse Monday through their special eclipse glasses.
  3. Epilogue: Martin Giles a man of few, but strong, words for WFLA-AM 970

    Obituaries

    As the story goes, his higher-ups at the Misawa Air Base in Japan were clear with their edict to Martin Giles: It was only the mid-1950s, not far enough away from World War II for the Japanese to be trusted.

    Martin Giles, a longtime radio news anchor for WFLA-AM 970, died last week at the age of 80.
  4. Forecast: Minimal rain, for now, as hot temperatures prevail across Tampa Bay

    Weather

    Tampa Bay residents can expect a calm, rain-free start to Tuesday before showers arrive in the evening.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]