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Man injured in head-on collision still in hospital

The 81-year-old Brandon man was traveling on State Road 39, near Crystal Springs.

A man critically injured Tuesday when his pickup was hit head-on by a dump truck in southeast Pasco County was listed in guarded condition late Wednesday.

Frederick Brittain, 81, of Brandon was in the intensive care unit at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa on Wednesday, a hospital spokesman said.

Brittain was heading south on State Road 39 when a northbound 1994 Isuzu pickup driven by 31-year-old Walter Latimer Jr. of Tampa attempted to pass a slower-moving dump truck on the bridge over the Hillsborough River, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Victoria Brittain said her father, a retired airline pilot, suffered a fractured hip, collapsed lung, broken ribs and a laceration on his forehead.

As he tried to complete the risky pass, Latimer lost control on the rain-slick bridge and the Isuzu slid into the steel guardrail on the east side of the road, Trooper Del Barfield Jr. said Wednesday.

The driver of the dump truck, Theo James, veered left into oncoming traffic to avoid Latimer and hit Brittain head-on, Barfield said. James, a driver for Stearns Peat Co. of Dade City, was not injured in the crash.

Latimer was cited for driving on a suspended license, careless driving and not having a license plate, Barfield said.

It took rescue crews 45 minutes to pull Brittain from the wreckage. He was dazed, but conscious and able to sit up.

Hanging from the steering wheel of Brittain's pickup was a deflated, bloodied air bag that was cut by emergency personnel as they worked to free him.

Latimer and the man riding with him, Alan Merrill, were not seriously injured in the crash.

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