DNJ 10 Posted September 17, 2010 Share #1 Posted September 17, 2010 TAMPA - Her cruiser looked as if it had struck a land mine. But somehow, after a crash that also involved an 82,000-pound crane, a HART bus, a dump truck and two minivans, Deputy Deborah Walker was talking to her rescuers. "She's a very stubborn woman," sheriff's Detective Jason Connell said. "She's fighting her way through this." Walker, 51, is in serious condition at St. Joseph's Hospital. Seven other people suffered minor injuries in the crash and were taken to hospitals. The driver of the crane was identified as Kevin Davis, 25, of St. Petersburg, who wasn't injured in the accident. The 2002 Koehring crane is owned by Ray Anthony International of Bradenton. Connell, a traffic homicide investigator, has known Walker for 18 of her 26 years with the department. He said his colleague has bruised lungs, broken ribs and cuts. Still, Connell was relieved by Walker's response when he visited her in the hospital: She winked at him. According to investigators, the crane was heading east on Hillsborough Avenue about 11:15 a.m. Thursday when it went through a red light and T-boned Walker's cruiser, which was northbound on 56th Street. The deputy's cruiser struck a 2009 Honda CRV driven by Majid Sharifi, 56, of Valrico, which was next to it and also heading north on 56th Street. The crane continued east, pushing the cruiser and Honda CRV toward westbound traffic on Hillsborough Avenue. The cruiser struck a 1997 Dodge Caravan that was stopped at the westbound Hillsborough Avenue inside turning lane. The Dodge Caravan, which was driven by Veronica Fortunet, 36, of St. Petersburg, was pushed backward, striking a HART bus. The deputy's cruiser with its front end facing east came to a stop with the crane's front left tires on the top of the cruiser. Tow trucks had to lift the crane off the top of the cruiser; Walker was extricated. There were about a dozen people aboard HART bus 2120, four of whom were taken to a hospital, HART spokeswoman Marcia Mejia said. Abrahim Ghobrial was working the cash register at his BP gas station when he heard the crash. Ghobrial ran to help and saw the cruiser under the crane. He couldn't bear to look inside the cruiser, believing the deputy must be dead. "I've never seen an accident that big," he said. Investigators will analyze brakes, skid marks and other evidence to determine what happened. They also are trying to determine what role, if any, a mattress found under the crane played in the wreck, sheriff's Capt. Alan Hill said. Davis, the crane driver, told investigators that he had break failure and couldn't stop. Walker, a patrol deputy in District 1, was on routine patrol and not responding to a call, deputies said. "We are just hoping and praying she makes a speedy recovery," Hill said. "When you know the person, it really hits home. I will post the pictures of HART Bus #2120 later David:cool: Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.