Crash kills driver and closes Gandy for hoursBy TAMARA LUSH, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 10, 2003
TAMPA -- Police don't know where Terri Poole was going at 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. They don't know where she had been that evening.
All they know is that Poole, a 20-year-old from St. Petersburg, lost control of her Mustang on Gandy Boulevard. The car slid across the median and was hit by a Mack truck.
The impact sheared the Mustang in half and threw Poole 150 feet, police said. She struck a pole and was killed instantly.
The crash forced authorities to close the Gandy Bridge for about four hours Thursday, snarling the morning commute.
Tampa police spokeswoman Katie Hughes said Poole's husband and sister are in the U.S. Coast Guard. "It's such an irony that her husband and sister are active-duty military, yet she's the one who died," Hughes said.
Poole's sister is deployed overseas and was notified Thursday of the crash, Hughes said. Poole's husband is stationed in St. Petersburg.
Police said Poole was driving west, approaching the bridge, when she lost control. The car spun counterclockwise and slid across the grassy median into the eastbound lanes. That's when Poole was struck by the truck, which did not have a trailer attached.
The front half of the vehicle stayed in the eastbound lanes, while the other half was sent into the westbound lanes.
The truck was driven by Daniel J. Vanhorn, 45, of St. Petersburg. Vanhorn was treated at Tampa General Hospital for back injuries.
Detectives think bad weather may have contributed to the accident. Also, said Hughes, "by all indications, (Poole) did not have her seat belt on."
© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-893-8111
From the Times
local news desks