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Tampa girl, 6, thrown from SUV in St. Petersburg crash

ST. PETERSBURG — A 6-year-old Tampa girl was thrown out of the back of an SUV and onto the hood of a pickup after the vehicle she was riding in was rear-ended by a drunken driver on Sunday, according to police.

The driver who police said rear-ended the SUV, John Robert Jakab, was arrested on charges of DUI resulting in injury and violation of probation.

The child, Kedavia Jacobs, suffered serious facial injuries. But St. Petersburg police said on Monday that her injuries were no longer life-threatening.

The crash took place at about 3:45 p.m. The victim was one of four people riding in a 2001 Lincoln Navigator headed south on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street. The SUV was in the median lane, approaching a red light at 94th Avenue N.

Behind them, police said, Jakab was also driving south in the median lane in a 1998 Mazda pickup.

The Navigator slowed as it approached the red light, police said, which then turned green. Jakab's pickup then hit the back of the SUV, police said.

St. Petersburg police said the child was thrown out the back window — officers believe the window was down — and landed on the hood of the Mazda. Then the girl fell onto the road. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Jakab was "unsteady" and showed others signs of being impaired, police said. Jakab's blood-alcohol level was 0.187 and 0.172, according to police. Florida law presumes a driver is impaired at 0.08 or greater.

He was also cited for careless driving and driving with an expired registration. He was already on probation on two 2010 counts of withholding information from a medical practitioner. He was being held without bail Monday in the Pinellas County jail.

Jakab said that he had one glass of vodka and pineapple before the crash, according to police. He said he sped up when he saw the light ahead turn green but did not see the SUV in front of him, police said.

The driver of the SUV, 27-year-old Lorne Curry of Tampa, was also cited for driving with an unrestrained juvenile passenger, police said. The relation between the driver and victim was unknown.

Police said no one else was injured in the crash.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

Tampa girl, 6, thrown from SUV in St. Petersburg crash 08/01/11 [Last modified: Monday, August 1, 2011 6:23pm]
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