FHP: Fast car flipped, landed on another vehicle on US-19

20-year-old driver killed; 3 others injured

CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Florida Highway Patrol says 20-year-old Jezreel Lamont Saunders, of Tarpon Springs, was killed in a high speed crash that ended with his vehicle landing on top of another car.

The accident happened Sunday afternoon on US-19 near Hammock Pines Boulevard. FHP says Saunders was driving southbound at a "high rate of speed" and lost control of his Honda Accord. The car rotated, crossed the grass median and went into oncoming northbound traffic. The Accord collided with a van, sending the smaller vehicle airborne. The Accord landed on top of a Mazda Miata. Saunders was ejected from the Accord, and was hit by the van. Saunders died at the scene.

The driver of the van, Norman Kenneth Ertel, 36, of St. Petersburg was taken to Largo Medical Center with minor injuries. The driver of the Miata, Diane Marie Ryan, 49, of Brandon, and her passenger, Timothy Ryan, 50, were treated for minor injuries at Mease Countryside Hospital.

Social media accounts for Saunders indicate he was a graduate of Dunedin High School, and a father. Investigators are working to determine why Saunders was traveling so fast and if he was under the influence while driving.

ABC Action News Meteorologist Denis Phillips passed the crash scene Sunday evening and described the crash as likely the worst he had ever seen.

 

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