TAMPA — Two people died early Thursday morning after a sport utility vehicle heading the wrong way on a Carrollwood street crashed head-on into a car, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Just before 6 a.m., Eric Sanders, 20, was driving north in a Toyota RAV4 on the southbound side of Turner Road near the intersection of Oakshire Drive, sheriff's officials said. A car heading south swerved to the right to avoid a collision. Behind that car, deputies said, was Catherine Fleming, 53, who was heading south in a Nissan Sentra.
The SUV collided head-on with the Nissan, deputies said. Fleming died at the scene.
Sanders was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital where he died shortly before noon Thursday, deputies said.
A Ford Fusion behind the Nissan swerved and hit its passenger side. The Ford's driver, Leon J. Caines, 25, was not injured.
An investigation of the crash was still ongoing. The Sheriff's Office could not say if alcohol was a factor in the crash.
Mike Lucas, who said Sanders was like a brother to him, called him "an honest loving soul." Lucas said Sanders graduated from Gaither High School and spent a year at the University of Central Florida before he came back to Tampa to attend Hillsborough Community College. Lucas said Sanders left behind a 10-month-old son, Eric Jerimiah Sanders.
Fleming's family could not be reached for comment.