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Crash pushes car into pedestrians, hurting 3

Police say the car collided with another vehicle and was sent skidding toward the trio.

Published January 7, 2005

TAMPA - Three pedestrians suffered minor injuries Thursday when two cars collided on a downtown street and one of the vehicles skidded onto the sidewalk and struck them.

Shortly before 1 p.m. Ryan James Wilder, 23, of Tampa, was crossing Florida Avenue, heading west on Twiggs Street, in a 2004 Honda Civic, and didn't stop at a red light, said Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy.

About the same time, Tampa police Det. Bruce Mohr was driving north on Florida Avenue in an unmarked 2001 Ford Taurus and hit Wilder, McElroy said. That caused Wilder's Honda to slide, striking three pedestrians.

Wilder and pedestrians Jeri Burnett, 50, Elizabeth Branch, 48, and Dujardin Rosaeo, 48, were taken to Tampa General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries, McElroy said. The hospital listed Burnett and Branch in "good condition." Rosaeo was listed in "guarded condition," police said. Mohr was taken to Memorial Hospital.

"People don't pay attention down here," said Tracy Clemmons, who works at the federal courthouse on Twiggs. She said she saw the accident from the sixth floor and came down to the street to make sure everyone was okay.

"I'm just glad no one died from it," she said.

In November, U.S. Secret Service Agent Phillip Lebid, 30, died when 21-year-old Christian Lee Anderson ran a red light coming off the Crosstown Expressway in downtown Tampa.

In Thursday's accident, police issued Wilder a citation for running a red light.

"Downtown, there's so many people walking around during the lunch hour," McElroy said. "We're just very thankful that no one has injuries that happened to be life-threatening."

--Times researcher Cathy Wos contributed to this story.

[Last modified January 7, 2005, 01:29:20]

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