Thursday, October 18, 2018
Public safety

Police: Tampa driver, racing in truck, loses control in fatal crash

TAMPA — Police on Tuesday arrested a man who they said spun the tires of his pickup truck, sped down Sligh Avenue and slammed into two vehicles, killing one person and injuring two others.

Joseph Obregon, who turned 31 on Tuesday, was revving the engine and spinning the tires of his 2012 Dodge Ram pickup about 10:40 a.m. while driving west on Sligh, police said. Another pickup, positioned alongside Obregon, was doing the same thing, witnesses told police.

At the intersection of Florida Avenue and Sligh, Obregon and the other pickup rapidly accelerated from a stop, according to investigators. They each hit about 70 mph, witnesses told investigators, before Obregon’s truck struck a 2008 Toyota RAV4 that was crossing Sligh from north to south along Highland Avenue, police said. The Toyota hit a power pole, killing passenger William Val Swartz of Tampa and critically injuring the driver, whose name was not released.

After striking the Toyota, Obregon, also of Tampa, went on to hit a 2011 Honda Accord, causing that driver minor injury, police said.

Obregon faces charges of vehicular homicide, reckless driving with serious bodily injury, racing and two counts of reckless driving with injury and property damage, police said. Investigators were searching for the driver of the white pickup.

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