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Crime journal

Published April 25, 2007



Incapacitated driver's crash causes evacuation at hospital

A 55-year-old woman incapacitated by a medical emergency accidentally crashed her van into an oxygen storage tank near Palms of Pasadena Hospital Tuesday afternoon, forcing authorities to evacuate an office building and move six critical care patients to other facilities as a precaution, the Sheriff's Office said. Irene Baker, a Seminole resident, lost control of her Dodge minivan around noon while driving through the hospital parking lot and hit two vehicles and a 5,000-gallon tank containing approximately 35,000 pounds of liquid oxygen. The crash damaged valves and a piping system, releasing oxygen. Baker was treated and released from the hospital's emergency room. The Sheriff's Office does not anticipate any charges. About 150 people were evacuated from the nearby Pasadena Medical Plaza, which houses offices and a rehabilitation center, but it was reopened later in the day. The crash caused a total of $11,500 in damages and drew dozens of emergency and fire and rescue personnel.


Rape, murder suspect charged in 2nd assault

A man charged last month with the rape and murder of a 78-year-old woman has been linked to a second rape case, police said Tuesday. Detectives said DNA matching Virgil Eugene DeBose was left at the scene of a March 7 rape in St. Petersburg. DeBose, 42, who has been charged with murder in the earlier case, now faces also charges of burglary and sexual battery. Authorities say DeBose may also be responsible for assaulting an 85-year-old woman in St. Petersburg on March 2. He is being held at the Pinellas County Jail without bond.


Officials say Largo man was killed in accident

Donald Cochran, a Largo resident, has been identified by police as the victim who was killed in an accident with a track hoe on U.S. 19 Saturday night. Cochran, 58, was killed when he struck the bucket portion of a track hoe that was going the wrong way on U.S. 19 with no lights on, police said. Cochran, who was driving a 1995 Ford pickup, swerved but still hit the bucket. Another driver also swerved to avoid the track hoe, but hit a concrete barricade and sustained serious injuries, Pinellas Park police said. The driver of the track hoe, Augustin Palma-Triejo, 18, was arrested on a charge of vehicular manslaughter.


TEEN RESCUED FROM BATHTUB: A 13-year-old girl was rushed to St. Petersburg General Hospital on Tuesday night after her family found her unconscious in the bathtub at their home near 16th Avenue N and 49th Street. The girl, who was not identified, was in critical condition, fire officials said. Her mother performed CPR until paramedics arrived at about 9 p.m., officials said.

SKYWAY LEAPER IDENTIFIED: The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has identified a man who died after jumping from the Sunshine Skyway Bridge about midnight Saturday. George Michael Safko, 54, of 10724 Goose Berry Court, Trinity, leaped from the bridge in an apparent suicide, authorities said.

[Last modified April 25, 2007, 00:44:47]

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