1 dead, 5 hospitalized after crash sends car into Tampa canal

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – One person has died and five people have been hospitalized after a crash caused a car to go into a Tampa canal.

According to Florida Highway Patrol, 43-year-old Patrick Wallace Bilder was driving eastbound on Adamo Drive in the inside lane east of Orient Road. A second vehicle driven by 58-year-old Kenneth Donaldson and a third vehicle driven by 22-year-old Emily Aronna were driving westbound on Adamo Drive in the outside lane.

For unknown reasons, troopers say Bilder crossed the center grass median, began traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes and collided with the outside concrete barrier wall. The driver was then redirected back into the travel lanes and collided first nearly head-on with Donaldson’s vehicle, according to troopers.

A crash report from FHP said after colliding with Donaldson, Bilder’s vehicle became airborne before colliding with Aronna. After colliding with Aronna, Bilder’s car continued being airborne and went off the bridge spanning the Tampa Bypass Canal, entering the canal and became fully submerged, according to the report.

Troopers say the 43-year-old suffered fatal injuries at the scene of the crash.

Donaldson and his three passengers, a 10-, 12- and 16-year-old, as well as Aronna were all taken to Tampa General Hospital for minor injuries, according to FHP.

As of 9:40 PM, all lanes of Adamo Drive have reopened.

*Editor’s Note: This article previously stated two vehicles were involved in the crash. That has been changed to three vehicles, according to FHP. Initial reports from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue stated one person was pulled out of the water, was fine and taken to a local hospital, however, FHP reports state only one person was in the water and is deceased.*


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