Tampa police: Semitrailer truck runs red light, causes crash

Published May 12, 2013

TAMPA — A semitrailer truck ran a red light, crashed into three vehicles and dragged two of them with it before overturning around 11 p.m. Saturday near Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Interstate 75, police said.

Thomas Jonovitch, 69, of Palm Bay was cited for failure to stop at a red light, Tampa police said.

Jonovitch exited northbound I-75 at the Bruce B. Downs exit ramp and ignored the red light, believing he was on an extension of the interstate, police said.

Jonovitch, who was driving a 2005 Freightliner, locked his brakes when he realized the mistake and slid across the intersection, striking three vehicles stopped for a light on Bruce B Downs Blvd, police said. The truck dragged two of the vehicles under its trailer before overturning, spilling part of its load.

The drivers of the three vehicles — Francisca Ezeogu, 37, Penny Seon, 50, and Amy Skrzpaczak, 18, all of Tampa — were transported to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.

Tampa police shut down a portion of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard while they investigated. The road re-opened just before 9 a.m. Sunday, police said.

The total estimated damage was $100,000.