A woman from Zephyrhills, Fla., was killed in a head-on collision in Tampa on a recent Friday morning during predawn hours.
Rita Marie Sutliff, 69, was southbound on Morris Bridge Road near Pictorial Park Drive when she collided with a car driven by Kunjummen Arun Babu, 18. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Babu was northbound when he crossed into southbound traffic and collided with Sutliff’s car. Sutliff was pronounced dead at the scene. Babu sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to a local hospital.
Investigators estimated both vehicles were traveling at about 50 mph. Both drivers were wearing seat belts, and investigators said they saw no indication alcohol or drugs were factors. Although no charges had been filed, authorities continued to investigate the accident.
Much of Morris Bridge Road – probably including the location of the accident – is two lanes and has no lighting. The accident occurred before dawn, when both drivers were likely fatigued either from waking early or staying up late.
A head-on collision like this is difficult to survive. If it is possible to plan your route to avoid two-lane, high-speed roads, especially outside daylight hours, consider doing so. Remain diligently focused on the road – avoid the temptation to engage in distractions such as fiddling with the radio or your cell phone. And if you are injured or a loved one is killed in an auto accident that you believe may be the fault of another, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.