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Plant City man arrested after running from I-4 crash that killed passenger, troopers say

Cruz Ibarra, 22, crashed an SUV, resulting in the death of a man who was riding with him, according to the Florida Highway Patrol
Cruz Eligio Ibarra, 22, was arrested on Sunday after running from the scene of a crash that killed his passenger on Interstate 4 in Plant City, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Cruz Eligio Ibarra, 22, was arrested on Sunday after running from the scene of a crash that killed his passenger on Interstate 4 in Plant City, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. [ Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Feb. 8

PLANT CITY — A 22-year-old Plant City man was arrested Sunday after running from the scene of a fatal crash on Interstate 4, troopers said.

Cruz Eligio Ibarra, 22, was driving west on I-4 near Thonotosassa Road about 1:25 a.m. when his SUV veered into the center median and overturned, according to an arrest report and a Florida Highway Patrol news release. A 25-year-old Dover man riding in the SUV was ejected and died at the scene.

Witnesses said they saw the SUV’s driver, later determined to be Ibarra, run from the scene of the crash and onto the Thonotosassa Road exit ramp, the arrest report says.

Investigators learned the registered owner of the SUV lives on the 1100 block of Park Road in Plant City, about four miles away. A Plant City police officer arrived at the home in time to see Ibarra get out of a car that had just pulled up, according to the report. The driver of that car told the officer Ibarra had shown up at his house, said he’d been in a crash and needed a ride to the Park Road home. Records show Ibarra lists the house as his home address.

The officer detained Ibarra and brought him back to the crash scene. A trooper noted Ibarra had a bloody nose, blood on his hands and he smelled like an alcoholic beverage, the report says. He declined to speak with investigators.

The report says Ibarra was never issued a driver’s license. He was identified by a Mexican identification card.

He was booked into the Hillsborough County jail and was being held Monday in lieu of $17,000 bail. Jail records show he works as a carpenter.

The name of the man who died in the crash is not included in the arrest report or the news release. Citing Marsy’s Law, the Highway Patrol no longer includes in its news releases the names of people involved in crashes.