TAMPA — The body of a 21-year-old Brandon man found floating near the Howard Frankland Bridge on Monday is linked to a crashed car found on the Howard Frankland Bridge a day earlier, troopers said.
Troopers responded to the bridge shortly before 4:30 p.m. on Monday after local law enforcement units and the U.S. Coast Guard discovered a man’s body floating near the span, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Investigators found the man’s driver license on him and troopers confirmed the man was the registered owner of a 2003 Lexus that troopers found on the emergency shoulder of the bridge’s southbound span about 6:30 a.m. Sunday, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a spokesperson for the Highway Patrol. The Lexus had crashed into the bridge’s barrier wall near Mile Marker 35. Troopers placed a red tag on the car warning the owner that it would towed if not removed.
It was still unclear Tuesday how the man ended up in Tampa Bay but the investigation so far has not indicated that the man was ejected from the Lexus, Gaskins said. He said investigators were waiting for the results of an autopsy to confirm how the man died.
The Highway Patrol has not released the man’s name.