Thursday, October 18, 2018
Public safety

Former Pasco County football coach identified as Skyway Bridge victim

A former assistant football coach at Land O'Lakes High School in Pasco County drove his car to the center of the Sunshine Skyway bridge early Monday morning and jumped to his death.

William J. Schmitz, 59, of Land O'Lakes left his 2010 Kia atop the span, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. He leapt from the side of the railing at 4:56 a.m.

His body was found about four hours later, authorities said. Further details were not immediately available.

Schmitz came to Land O'Lakes with a strong football pedigree. He previously served as an assistant at Cincinnati, Vanderbilt and UAB, among others. In 2003, he was chosen over Robert Weiner as the head coach at Jesuit, where he led the Tigers to the 2004 Class 3A region final.

He was the Tampa Bay Times' North Suncoast track coach of the year in 2012 but was not on the football staff this season. Schmitz led the track team to the Class 3A, District 6 championship each of the past two years.

School officials told Land O'Lakes athletes after Schmitz's death Monday morning and let the rest of the students know at 1 p.m. He was also a social studies teacher at the school.

Comments
Michael Drejka wants to fire one of his lawyers

Michael Drejka wants to fire one of his lawyers

LARGO — Michael Drejka has moved to fire one of his defense attorneys, writing in an affidavit that lawyer Lysa Clifton solicited him in jail the day after his Aug. 13 arrest and refused his request that she withdraw from the case.The affidavit, sign...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Gift of Peace Luncheon helps The Spring continue its mission

Gift of Peace Luncheon helps The Spring continue its mission

Amid on-going problems, the nonprofit continues to advocate again domestic violence, protect victims, and promote healthy communities.
Updated: 6 hours ago
Fire sets off ammunition inside Pasco mobile home

Fire sets off ammunition inside Pasco mobile home

MOON LAKE — A mobile home with ammunition inside caught fire on Thursday, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue.The blaze set off the ammunition inside — fire can causes bullets to explode, but cannot propel them the way a firearm can. Flames engulfe...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Two injured in Plant City plane crash

Two injured in Plant City plane crash

PLANT CITY — Two people were injured when a small plane crashed near the Plant City Airport Thursday afternoon. It took firefighters about 10 minutes to locate the plane, which went down in a metal scrap yard located in the thick woods lining Airport...
Updated: 8 hours ago
State Road 54 reopens in Trinity after fuel tanker leak

State Road 54 reopens in Trinity after fuel tanker leak

All lanes are shut down between Gunn Highway and Trinity Boulevard due to the offloading of fuel from a leaking tanker, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue.
Updated: 8 hours ago
Spring Hill mother accused of leaving baby to die in hot car pleads not guilty

Spring Hill mother accused of leaving baby to die in hot car pleads not guilty

Cami Lee Moyer pleaded not guilty to a murder charge related to the baby's death in August.
Updated: 9 hours ago
Deputies: Drunk St. Petersburg man jumps behind wheel of PSTA bus, threatens driver

Deputies: Drunk St. Petersburg man jumps behind wheel of PSTA bus, threatens driver

It wasn't his first unlawful encounter with PSTA, deputies said.
Updated: 10 hours ago
Crash involving 7 vehicles, PSTA bus, closes portion of SB U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor

Crash involving 7 vehicles, PSTA bus, closes portion of SB U.S. 19 in Palm Harbor

A portion of southbound U.S. 19 is closed in Palm Harbor following an eight-car crash that included a PSTA bus.
Updated: 10 hours ago
Pasco couple used dead man's identity, bought SUV with stolen check, deputies say

Pasco couple used dead man's identity, bought SUV with stolen check, deputies say

Everyone knew him as Gary, but Gary's been dead for almost a year. Deputies said Jeffrey Mirick stole Gary Ridgeway's identity. Then he stole a check and used it to buy an SUV.
Updated: 11 hours ago
In Clearwater handicap parking space case, prosecutors want to include shooter’s prior confrontation

In Clearwater handicap parking space case, prosecutors want to include shooter’s prior confrontation

In the case of the fatal shooting of Markeis McGlockton, prosecutors this week formally expressed their intent to use as evidence a prior encounter between Michael Drejka and a man who parked in the same handicap parking space.A motion filed in court...
Published: 10/18/18