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‘It’s tragic’: Speed factor in Tampa crash that killed 2 teens, investigators say

By Brittany Muller,


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa police are investigating a crash that took the lives of two teenagers on Sunday night.

Police said it happened near the intersection of South 20th and Hemlock Streets just before 11 p.m.

Tire tracks show the path the vehicle took off the street, taking down a fence and into Paul Jackson’s property. Tampa police said a 17 and 18-year-old boy and girl were killed.

“It’s tragic,” said Jackson.

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Neighbors are concerned for safety along South 20 th Street due to recent crashes that happened in the area.

“Five people died already right here, and the city has to do something right here,” said neighbor Orlando Cruz. “Five people.”

That number includes the two teens who died in the wreck on Sunday, according to Cruz.

“I was sleeping you know, and I hear so much noise like something hit and then I hear the car,” Cruz recalled, adding that he heard one of the teen’s last words.

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“One was crying and ‘Oh my God’ that’s what they said,” said Cruz.

Life-saving measures were performed, but both teens tragically died. Investigators said the vehicle’s speed was a factor in the crash.

Jackson said he often sees officers on patrol along south 20 th Street, giving tickets to drivers who are speeding.

“People do treat this like a bit of a raceway,” Jackson said. “They come off the light, around the curve and you can’t see, then somebody turns left right in front of them.”

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

In a statement provided to WFLA, an FDOT representative said that in 2021, police had “noticed a trend of motorcycle and vehicle crashes along U.S. 41 in the area involving the Port of Tampa,” specifically south of Hemlock Street.

“The roadway in this location is a multi-lane concrete surface with a curve to the east,” FDOT spokeswoman Jessica Ottaviano said. “In the area of the curve, the Tampa Police Traffic Homicide Unit investigated four fatal crashes in eight months involving three motorcycles and one passenger vehicle. All the crashes involved lane/roadway departure and resulted in fatal injuries to the vehicle operator.”

Ottaviano said FDOT has implemented additional signage and lane marking enhancements in the area along with a High Friction Surface treatment that will ” improve tire adhesion through the curve.”

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