Police: Driver speeding in fog causes rear-end crash on Courtney Campbell Causeway

Published Dec. 13, 2016

A 19-year-old Dania Beach man was speeding in foggy conditions and changing lanes repeatedly Tuesday morning when he slammed into the rear of a commercial van on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, causing serious injuries to a 6-month-old passenger.

The crash, which occurred around 8 a.m., closed the eastbound lanes on the causeway for about three hours, according to Clearwater police.

Ioan Lupeanu was speeding while driving a Mercedes ML350 in the eastbound lane just before 8 a.m. when he struck the back of a white commercial van that was stopped because of traffic, police said.

The child, Anelissa Lupeanu, was not properly restrained, according to a preliminary investigation, and is being treated for serious injuries at St. Joseph's Hospital, police said.

The child's mother, 18-year-old Rebecca Militaru, was treated for minor injuries at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, police said.

Ioan Lupeanu was not injured, police said. Brian Harris, the driver of the commercial van, was transported to Mease Countryside Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

Two other vehicles received minor damage, police said.

The investigation is continuing, police said.

The Bayside Bridge was also congested Tuesday morning as drivers changed routes to avoid the Courtney Campbell. The Bayside traffic tie-up was worsened by a two-car crash in the southbound lanes about midway across the bridge.

Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins said that at about 10 a.m., a car in the outside lane slowed down as it approached a tow truck on the shoulder. A vehicle behind the car moved into the center lane, and the car behind that one slammed into the back of the first car.

One person was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital with minor injuries, Gaskins said. Crews were almost finished clearing the lane just before 11:30 a.m.