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Serious car accident shuts down US 19 and MLK Blvd. in Tarpon Springs

5:21 PM, Mar 1, 2014   |    comments
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Tarpon Springs, Florida -- The area around U.S. 19 and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. has reopened to traffic following an accident that killed two people.

The crash occurred around 3 a.m. after an officer on patrol heard a loud "boom" coming from the area of MLK and U.S. 19.

"He told me it sounded like a missile hit U.S. 19," said Tarpon Springs Police Captain Jeffrey Young. 

Young said the officer found downed power lines and attempted to stop traffic on southbound U.S. 19. Unfortunately, he was not able to stop traffic and two vehicles struck the downed power lines.

Both vehicles were damaged, although only one of the drivers was take to the hospital with minor injuries. 

A worker from a nearby McDonald's, Jaime Alvarado, approached the officer and told him that just after he heard the "boom" he saw a white vehicle headed northbound, while a red vehicle went airborne into a retention pond on the east side of U.S. 19. Both vehicles had reportedly been traveling in the northbound lanes of U.S. 19.  Later, it was determined the "red" vehicle was silver. 

Duke Energy was called out due to the three power poles and multiple live wires down in the area.

Once Duke Energy was able to get the power off to the area, a man was found next to one of the downed poles with wires over him. He was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unknown at this time if he was a pedestrian or an occupant of the vehicle in the pond.

"We do not know for sure if the man we found dead at the pond covered in those live wires was the driver. That will be up to investigators, but he was laying in a place that would appear he was the driver of the vehicle," said Captain Young. 

The Tarpon Springs Police Department Dive Team went in the murky water and found one body inside the vehicle. The driver's seat was empty. Divers searched the bottom of the pond and have not located any other victims. 

Police have not identified the names of the two deceased men.  

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