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Victims in wrong way crash at Tampa International Airport were in a ride share car, police say

Alexander Jacobson, the driver who caused the crash, smelled like marijuana and had a blood alcohol level just over the legal limit more than four hours after the crash, records show.
Alexander Bradford Jacobson, of Land O Lakes, smelled like marijuana and had a blood alcohol level just over the legal limit when he caused a wrong-way crash near the Tampa International Airport on Sunday, records show.
Alexander Bradford Jacobson, of Land O Lakes, smelled like marijuana and had a blood alcohol level just over the legal limit when he caused a wrong-way crash near the Tampa International Airport on Sunday, records show. [ Tampa Police Department ]
Published Jan. 27, 2020
Updated Jan. 27, 2020

TAMPA -- The driver who police say killed two people in a violent wrong-way crash outside Tampa airport early Sunday smelled like marijuana and had a blood alcohol level just above the legal limit more than four hours after the crash, records show.

Tampa police also confirmed Monday that the driver of the Ford sedan that 30-year-old old Alexander Bradford Jacobson struck with his Jeep was working for a ride sharing company but did not say which one.

Both the driver and the lone passenger were killed. Police did not release their names, citing its interpretation of Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment meant to protect crime victims.

Jacobson, of Land 'O Lakes, was not seriously injured. He now faces two counts each of DUI manslaughter and vehicular manslaughter.

The crash happened about 3:10 a.m. on the George J. Bean Parkway, which allows only northbound traffic heading into the airport. The force of the head-on crash totaled the Jeep and the Ford, the report says.

A witness told police Johnson got out of the Jeep moments after the crash. He smelled like marijuana and alcohol and had a "sleepy, lethargic appearance, with droopy eyelids, watery and bloodshot eyes and a “blank/dazed stare,” according to the arrest report. He wore Gasparilla beads around his neck and a purple paper wristband.

After police read him his rights, Jacobson told investigators he had two IPA beers about four hours earlier at an Ybor City bar, the report says. He performed poorly on field sobriety exercises and was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Jacobson gave consent to have his blood drawn and a sample was taken at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 5:55 a.m. He was then taken to the Hillsborough County jail. At 7:40 a.m. and 7:44 a.m. — four and a half hours after the crash — he gave breath samples that showed his blood alcohol level was .081 and .083, court records show. A driver is presumed impaired under Florida law at .08.

During his first court appearance Monday, a judge set Jacobson’s bail at $150,000 records show.

Records show Jacobson was arrested in 2012 in Dakota County in Minnesota and charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of a traffic crash and driving with an expired registration. He was convicted on a careless driving charge and the other charges were dismissed.

Two years earlier in the same county, Jacobson was found guilty of possessing marijuana and drug paraphernalia in a motor vehicle, records show.

Times senior news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.