Jaywalking siblings hit by car after leaving school

Driver cited for suspended license

A brother and sister walking home from Buchanan Middle School in Hillsborough County were struck by a car as they were jaywalking across Bearss Avenue, according to sheriff's deputies.

Abner Brizula, 12, and his sister, 15-year-old Nahomy Brizula, were walking with a group of 30 students who had left school after the final day of class before summer vacation. A sheriff's investigator said the group decided to cross from the north side of the street to the south side without using a crosswalk.

All the kids made it safely across the busy roadway except the Brizulas, who were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa and were reported in serious condition.

"It was a group of children that were running out in front of traffic," said Kim Sammons, who saw the accident and pulled over to help out the driver who struck the kids.

"It's just a sad situation on the last day of school," Sammons said.

Both kids were hit by a 2002 Honda Civic driven by Juana Zurbano, 19, of Tampa. Zurbano was visibly angry after the crash and declined comment about the accident.

Deputies said they interviewed Zurbano but she was not charged in the collision. Zurbano was cited for having a suspended license.  

Sammons said as a parent she had some advice for young people thinking about rushing through a busy street.

"Don't think you're invincible because this could very much happen to you," Sammons said. "Cross at the light. Don't jaywalk."


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