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Man with two grandchildren in stroller hit by car on U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park

Witnesses Alicia Schell, 53, and Dave Schell, 61, wait by their car as a vehicle is removed from U.S. 19 after the crash.
Witnesses Alicia Schell, 53, and Dave Schell, 61, wait by their car as a vehicle is removed from U.S. 19 after the crash.
Published Jul. 2, 2012

PINELLAS PARK — A man pushing a stroller with his two young grandchildren in it was hit by a car Friday morning.

Though the crash sent the stroller flying, the children will be okay, police said. Their grandfather also survived the crash.

Francisco Torres Jr., 59, was walking west in a crosswalk at the intersection of U.S. 19 and 66th Avenue N. He was pushing the children, a 10-month-old girl and a 3-year-old boy, in a tandem stroller.

They were halfway across the southbound lanes of the U.S. 19 crosswalk when they were struck.

The car "hit him like a hockey puck," said Dave Schell, 61, of St. Petersburg. "The babies went flying in front of our car."

Schell said he saw the whole thing from his car, the first in a line of traffic going south on U.S. 19 and stopped at the red light at 66th Avenue N.

According to the Pinellas Park Police Department, Khatthaphone Chantharat, 52, was driving north on U.S. 19 when she ran the red light at 66th Avenue N. Her car T-boned a car driven by 19-year-old Joseph Robert Bosworth, which spun and hit the grandfather and children.

Schell and his wife, Alicia, watched the wreck happen right in front of them. "I covered my face 'cause he was spinning so bad," said Alicia, 53.

She jumped out of their car and ran to the children, whose stroller had been knocked into a nearby parking lot. The kids were still strapped in the stroller.

Alicia and another bystander held the children's heads and tried to calm them.

The spinning car hit the grandfather so hard he was pushed almost underneath the Schells' car, she said. The left side of their car had blood on it.

Torres was taken to Bayfront with serious but not life-threatening injuries, said police spokesman Brian Unmisig.

The children were taken to All Children's Hospital.

The 3-year-old was treated and released, and the 10-month-old was in good condition Friday.

Police said both drivers, Chantharat and Bosworth, were going to be okay.

Chantharat was cited with running a red light.

Staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Alli Langley can be reached at alangley@tampabay.com.

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