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3 killed after driver runs red light at Westchase intersection, neighbors ask for changes

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Three people were ejected from a car and killed Tuesday morning after the driver ran a red light in Westchase, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said.

The crash occurred at the intersection of Sheldon Road and Linebaugh Avenue.

Deputies said a Chevy Malibu was traveling north on Sheldon Road around 5 a.m. when the driver ran a red light and got hit by a Nissan Altima going east on Linebaugh Avenue.

The crash caused the Malibu to lose control and collide against a pole. The sheriff’s office has now identified the victims as Troy Kinney, 20 the driver of the Chevy, and passengers Tribizael Santiago, 22, and Aliyah Rodriguez, 18.

The driver of the Altima was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital with serious injuries.

Mariah Kinney is Troy Kinney’s sister and visited the intersection late Tuesday afternoon.

“He’s a loving man. He cared for his kids and his mother. He was a very hard working man,” said Mariah.

The Metropolitan Planning Organization lists this intersection as one of the most dangerous in Hillsborough County.

Susan Simmons lives near the intersection and has written Governor DeSantis to ask that something be done to make it safer.

“I feel bad for the people who lost their lives today because you get T-boned here but it’s not changing, it’s getting worse. As you go up and down Linebaugh you can see that people don’t pay attention to 45 miles an hour,they are doing close to 70,” said Simmons.

The MPO in the last five years there has been more than 900 crashes on Sheldon Road in the stretch between Waters Avenue and Hillsborough Avenue.

Before Tuesday’s fatal crash, eight people lost their lives on that section of Sheldon Road and 19 people were seriously injured.

“The design of the roadway is for higher speeds, it’s a very long, straight corridor, transecting another high speed corridor and that’s a recipe for disaster,” said Lisa Simmons who lives near the intersection and works for the MPO.

She says the design of the intersection is a factor in some of the accidents.

“Roadways that are designed with wider lanes and posted speeds at 45 miles per hour and higher have a nine times greater chance of a fatality when there is a crash,” said Simmons.

The MPO is conducting a study of the area and considering changes to make it safer.

“If you re-stripe the roadways for narrower lanes it has the physiological benefit of slowing the drivers down along the roadway. The high emphasis crosswalks that are a lot more visible help us with that,” said Simmons.

If you would like to learn more about the study and take part in a survey for resident input click here.

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