Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. St. Petersburg

Flying wood from St. Petersburg crash hits, badly injures excavator driver

Howard Powell was working when a truck crashed near his excavator. Several pieces of wood broke free upon impact and struck him, police say.
A 46-year-old excavator driver is hospitalized in critical condition after a Ford F350 truck carrying several pieces of wood crashed on the  Pinellas Bayway in St. Petersburg Thursday, and the flying wood struck the man as he worked near the crash scene, according to police.
A 46-year-old excavator driver is hospitalized in critical condition after a Ford F350 truck carrying several pieces of wood crashed on the Pinellas Bayway in St. Petersburg Thursday, and the flying wood struck the man as he worked near the crash scene, according to police. [ Photo provided / St. Petersburg Police Department ]
Published Oct. 21
Updated Oct. 21

A 46-year-old man is hospitalized with critical injuries after a Ford truck carrying several pieces of wood crashed on the Pinellas Bayway in St. Petersburg Thursday, sending the wood into the air, according to police.

Howard Hugh Powell, of Miramar, was driving an excavator with a work crew on the Pinellas Bayway, also known as State Road 679, when a 2003 Ford F350 truck driven by Jesus Refugio Cortes, 43, left the east side of the road for unknown reasons shortly after 9 a.m., the St Petersburg Police Department said in a news release Thursday afternoon.

The truck hit a utility box and a signpost, then crossed an empty ditch and crashed into a palm tree in the 6300 block of the Pinellas Bayway, police said. The force of the impact sent several pieces of wood flying, and Powell was hit in the chest and abdomen, officers said.

Powell and Cortes were both taken to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, according to the release. Powell is in critical condition, and Cortes had minor injuries, police said.

The crash is under investigation, but police say neither alcohol nor drugs were involved.