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One dead in Hillsborough crash on State Road 574

During investigation, another car drives through scene and destroys evidence, officials say.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates.
Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Sep. 12
Updated Sep. 12

While Florida Highway Patrol officers were investigating a traffic accident that killed a pedestrian Sunday morning, an impaired driver drove through the scene, nearly hitting two troopers, according to a report released by Hillsborough County.

At approximately 3:10 a.m. on Sunday, a 30-year-old man from Tampa was walking in the travel lanes approaching Williams Road when he was struck and killed by a driver traveling east on State Road 574 in Hillsborough County, the Highway Patrol said.

According to investigators, the driver of the car, 28-year-old Stuart Mikel Cobb, left the scene of the crash following the collision and parked a Mitsubishi Endeavor at the nearby Walmart. Cobb then walked back to the site of the crash and was later arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, officials said.

At 4:51 a.m., while collecting evidence from the scene of the fatal crash, troopers report that a gray Lexus occupied by two people entered the closed area, destroying the laser mapping system officials were using and a large amount of evidence.

According to the report released by Hillsborough County, the driver of the car did not stop and continued driving beyond the scene. The car stopped when troopers overtook the driver, who was identified as 34-year-old James Edward Sharp III.

Officials reported Sharp exhibited signs of alcohol impairment and did not satisfactorily complete a DUI field sobriety exercise. Sharp was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of a crash with property damage and tampering with physical evidence. He then was transported to a Hillsborough County jail, where he provided two breath samples with an alcohol content greater than 0.08 and was charged with driving under the influence, according to the arrest report.

This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.