Police determine three-vehicle accident was caused by man who commited suicide driving on I-275

Posted at 7:17 AM, Aug 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-15 06:38:59-04

An overnight suicide accident on northbound I-275 has left one dead.

Troopers with the Florida Highway Patrol (F.H.P.) responded to a three-vehicle accident on northbound I-275, just north of the 54th Avenue North exits just around midnight.

During their investigation, the troopers discovered one of the drivers dead of a gunshot wound. At 3:30 a.m., F.H.P. requested the St. Petersburg Police Department's assistance in their investigation.

St. Petersburg Police officers responded and were able to determine that the deceased driver, Leonard De La Garza, Jr., 56, of Largo, had committed suicide with a handgun while driving northbound on I-275.

The driver's actions caused his car to swerve into the path of two other northbound cars. No one else involved in the accident received any serious injuries, according to officials.

All northbound lanes on I-275 near 62nd Ave. North were closed for about eight hours due to the traffic accident.