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Head-on wreck kills passenger

A father and daughter are seriously hurt in the crash on State Road 60.

Published September 20, 2006

PLANT CITY - Two vehicles collided head-on on Tuesday on State Road 60, killing one man, and leaving a father and daughter with serious injuries.

Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies shut down a 2-mile stretch of the highway Tuesday afternoon between County Road 39 and Turkey Creek Road.

Based on witness interviews and evidence at the scene, investigators said that about 3:20 p.m., a 2005 Toyota pickup slid from the eastbound land into the path of a westbound 2006 BMW sport utility vehicle, Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Larry Coggins said.

As rain fell on the highway, Billy Espinoza, 31, of Valrico apparently lost control of the Toyota, Coggins said.

His brother, Teddy Espinoza, 33, of Lakeland, died at the scene.

Devon Espinoza, 9, of Valrico, the driver's daughter and a fourth-grader at Buckhorn Elementary, was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. An ambulance took her father to Tampa General. Both suffered serious injuries, Coggins said.

The BMW's driver, Maribel Barrera of Valrico, 31, was taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Another car carrying Billy Espinoza's wife and three more of his children was not involved in the accident.

Officers are still investigating and have not filed charges, Coggins said.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at 661-2431 or

[Last modified September 20, 2006, 01:15:36]

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