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Fatal New Tampa Crash Caused by Driver Crossing Into Oncoming Traffic


Posted on Oct 08, 2013

On Friday, September 20, 2013, a fatal crash in New Tampa occurred that claimed the life of a 69-year-old woman. According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, another car collided head-on into the vehicle the victim was driving.

Rita Marie Sutliff, the 69-year-old driver from Zephyrhills, was traveling south on Morris Bridge near Pictorial Park Drive in a 2012 Ford Explorer. A driver headed northbound crossed over into her lane and hit her head-on.

Kunjummen Arun Babu, the 18-year-old driver of a 2010 Honda Accord, was responsible for crossing into the southbound lanes of traffic. Deputies said he drove left of center and crossed the paved safety zone, striking the Explorer head-on. Babu did sustain injuries, and was transported to an area hospital for medical care of his non-life threatening injuries.

When Hillsborough County Fire Heavy Rescue arrived at the accident scene, they had to extricate Rita Sutliff from her vehicle, and paramedics tried to revive her. Sadly, they were unable to do so and Sutliff was pronounced dead at the accident scene.

According to deputies, the crash occurred around 4 a.m. when both drivers were estimated to be traveling around 50 miles per hour. Both drivers were wearing seat belts and investigators do not believe alcohol or drugs were factors in this collision.

Deputies are still investigating the accident and no charges have been filed at this time.

Our Sarasota accident attorneys at the Mallard Law Firm would like to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Rita Marie Sutliff.

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