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Fatal crash: Lucindi Lane killed, forced to leave Tampa International Airport hours before

6:18 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- The 10 News Investigators have learned the death of a man in an elevator at Tampa International Airport is actually the second mysterious death involving someone who was at TIA shortly before dying.

Back in December, a young woman with a history of problems asked Tampa International Police for help. A few hours later, 25-year-old Lucindi Lane was dead after being hit by a car on the Howard Frankland Bridge as she was crossing the bridge.

Lane's mother, Linda Hines, said she got a call at her home in Indiana from a police officer who said, "I'm sorry to tell you that your daughter had died at 5 a.m. this morning in Florida."

"My hands went up in the air and I said 'oh Lord, oh lord this is not happening,'" Hines said.

Lane had a series of problems and reports say she had been off her medication when, over the objections of her family, she took a bus from Michigan to the Bay area.

Less than a week later, Lane showed up at the airport asking for help to get back to her grandmother in Michigan or her mother in Indiana.

In the first of three 911 calls to airport police, Lane sounded confused as she said her grandmother was trying to help her get a flight back to Indiana. On the 911 tape, you can hear Lane tell the operator she is stranded at the airport and that St. Pete has an airline where her ticket or voucher home is.

An airport police officer then found Lane and let her use his cell phone. The officer wrote in his report Lane's grandparents will wire money for Lane for her flight tomorrow. However, Lane didn't leave the airport and kept calling TIA police, changing her story and asking for help.

On another 911 call the operator said, "We can't do anything as far as emergency transportation, we don't have that kind of authority."

Airport police tried to find a shelter for Lane but couldn't. Finally, they told her she had to leave the airport and drove the woman to a nearby IHOP on Spruce Street. They also told Lane she could not return to the airport without a ticket.

Airport Communications Director Janet Zink said, "This is clearly a very sad story with a tragic ending and our hearts go out to the family of this young woman."

Zink added, "It was a judgment call made late at night by somebody working at the airport and, unfortunately, it is a really, really tragic ending."

And then there are two unconfirmed conflicting stories on how Lane ended up at the IHOP on Spruce Street shortly before being killed on the Howard Frankland Bridge. 

The airport version is that she asked to be dropped off at the IHOP, but according to sources within airport police, we are told she was brought to the restaurant so she would be off airport property and, if she called 911 again, Tampa Police would have to handle it. 

Unfortunately, the investigation says nothing about why she was dropped at the IHOP.

Meanwhile, Lane's mom said, "She wanted children, she wanted to get married, she talked about a lot of things she wanted to do and places she wanted to go. She got to do half of it."

The day before Lane died she called her grandmother and said she was out of money and wanted to come home. No one knows how she got to the airport the night of her death.

Follow 10 News Reporter Mike Deeson on twitter @MikeDeeson

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