Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Truck hits, kills woman holding "homeless" sign outside Indian Rocks Shopping Center

LARGO — She was standing about 10 feet away, clutching a sign Tampa Bay drivers know by heart.

Homeless, it read.

Jeff Gurney, 42, briefly made eye contact with her as he maneuvered his car past the shopping center entrance where she was standing.

An instant later, he heard a crash.

He saw dirt and debris and stop signs fly in the air. The woman he had just seen hit the pavement.

Misty D. Jones, 35, had just been struck by a truck that, police said, lost control Monday afternoon. She died at the scene.

"I've never in my life seen anything like this," Gurney said. "It would have shaken anyone."

Police said Jones was standing near the entrance of the Indian Rocks Shopping Center at 12022 Indian Rocks Road about 4:40 p.m. Monday.

Sean M. Saur, 34, was northbound on Indian Rocks Road when he lost control of the truck, police said.

He crossed the double yellow line into oncoming traffic, hopped the curb, drove over the sidewalk, through some bushes and slammed into two stop signs and Jones, said Largo police Sgt. George Edmiston.

Police are investigating whether alcohol or drugs played a role in the crash. No charges had been filed Tuesday afternoon.

Saur has an active Florida driver's license, but has several past infractions. He has lost his license five times, including twice for traffic-related offenses, according to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. He was labeled a habitual traffic offender in 2000.

The crash stunned Gurney, who moved to Indian Rocks Beach from Detroit about eight months ago.

"It was horrible," he said. "It freaked me out."

He said he got out of the car as soon as he saw the crash. A couple of people in scrubs were already trying to help.

Gurney called 911 but said there wasn't much anyone could do. "She was dead instantly," he said.

"I've never seen anything so horrific," he said. "I've been a mess ever since."

Truck hits, kills woman holding "homeless" sign outside Indian Rocks Shopping Center 07/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 11:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum


    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Florida's school grades improve as educators get the hang of a new system


    Following a trend, Florida's school grades showed strong gains in the third year after the state changed its grading formula and the standardized tests that students take every year.

    After finding out earlier Wednesday that her school went from a low C to an A,  Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates with her students in the YMCA After School program at the school in St. Petersburg. Houston is giving a high five to rising fifth grader Jonaven Viera. Rising 4th grader Jonathan Cafaro is in foreground with his back to camera. [CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times]
  3. Tampa Bay woman, 11-year-old boy had sex up to 20 times the year their baby was born, detectives say.


    TAMPA — A woman sexually battered an 11-year-old Brandon boy, got pregnant and raised the baby for three years before a tip led to her arrest, Hillsborough County sheriff's officials said.

    Marissa Mowry, now 25,  had sex as many as 20 times in 2014 with a boy who was 11 when he impregnated her, Hillsborough County detectives allege. [Photo courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office]
  4. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks


    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  5. Mariners lose lefty Drew Smyly to Tommy John surgery


    SEATTLE — Drew Smyly was the centerpiece to one of Seattle's many offseason moves by general manager Jerry Dipoto. He was a priority acquisition as a proven lefty for the rotation the Mariners believed would thrive pitching at Safeco Field.

    Drew Smyly will undergo Tommy John surgery after being diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament. Seattle announced the diagnosis on Wednesday, ending Smyly's hopes of returning during the 2017 season. [AP photo]