Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Hillsborough

Aggressive driver dies after rolling vehicle with two kids onboard, says Highway Patrol

RUSKIN — A mother of two died Tuesday evening after she lost control of her vehicle and rolled it on Interstate 75 with her young children inside, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The driver, Jona Kay Wright, 27, of Ruskin, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Her two sons, ages 6 and 10, survived the crash but sustained minor injuries.

The accident took place at about 6:29 p.m. Wright's 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe was heading south in the inside lane of Interstate 75, traveling fast as it approached the Ruskin exit for College Avenue, just before Sun City Center.

Wright's Hyundai quickly came up behind a slower-moving vehicle, prompting her to make "aggressive hand gestures" to get the other driver to move out of the lane before overtaking the vehicle, troopers said.

But that's also when she lost control of the Hyundai, which troopers said drove off the road and rolled over several times in the median before coming to a stop. Wright and her two boys were all wearing their seatbelts, police said. Both sons sustained minor injuries in the crash. All three were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital South in Riverview for treatment.

Later that night, hospital staff pronounced the young mother deceased.

Alcohol played no role in the crash, troopers said. Debris from the crash closed all southbound lanes of I-75 for several hours, until they reopened shortly after 9 p.m.

Wright received six traffic citations from August 2012 to August 2014, according to county records, for infractions such as speeding, careless driving and speeding in a residential area. In all six cases, the charges were either dropped or Wright was acquitted, records show.

Contact Anastasia Dawson at or (813) 226-3377. Follow @adawsonwrites.