TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A 15-year-old girl has died after police say she was hit and killed by an impaired driver after the car she was in ran out of gas on the Gandy Bridge.
According to the Tampa Police Department, a 20-year-old man driving a 2008 silver Infiniti Q35 ran out of gas as he was driving eastbound across the Gandy Bridge. After pulling over to the left shoulder, the driver told police he could see what appeared to be a drunk driver swerving from side to side heading in his direction.
He attempted to warn his passengers, a 15-year-old girl, 17-year-old girl, and 20-year-old man, however, police say that’s when 28-year-old Sebastian Gutierrez crashed into them.
“One of the persons was pinned between the car and the guardrail and a 15-year-old girl was killed,” said Eddie Durkin with the Tampa Police Department.
Officers say the 20-year-old male passenger and 17-year-old girl received minor injuries as a result of the crash.
Gutierrez, who was driving a 2021 blue Honda Accord, remained on the scene with no apparent injuries, however, police say he demonstrated signs of being impaired. He was taken to the Hillsborough County Jail and charged with DUI manslaughter.
“I think at this point you should know, people shouldn’t be drinking and driving. That’s the message we need to get across. This is something that could have been avoided. A person ran out of gas and they were on the side of the road, but this other person chose to get behind the wheel, after drinking and driving,” said Durkin.
The eastbound lanes of the Gandy Bridge were closed for several hours but have since been reopened.