Zephyrhills woman killed in head-on crash in New Tampa

Published Sept. 21, 2013

NEW TAMPA — A Zephyrhills woman was killed early Friday when the car she was driving collided head-on with another on Morris Bridge Road near Pictorial Park Drive, sheriff's officials said.

The crash closed all lanes on Morris Bridge for several hours as deputies investigated. Rescue workers pulled the woman — Rita Marie Sutliff, 69 — from her vehicle, but were unable to revive her, officials said. Sutliff was pronounced dead at the scene.

Kunjummen Arun Babu, 18, who was driving the car that hit her, was taken to a local hospital with injuries described as not life threatening.

According to deputies, at about 4 a.m, Babu was driving north on Morris Bridge, near Pictorial Park Drive when he crossed over into southbound traffic and hit Sutliff's car, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives have estimated both vehicles were traveling about 50 mph. Both drivers were wearing seat belts and detectives say it does not appear alcohol or drugs were factors.

Deputies continue to investigate and say no charges are pending at this time.