NewsHillsborough County


Fatal crash in Valrico has runners asking drivers to pay attention

Runner in Hillsborough County
Posted at 4:17 PM, Apr 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-02 05:11:01-04

VALRICO, Fla. — When Julia Harbord goes running on Culbreath Road she knows there is danger on the roads around her.

“When I was leaving this morning my mom was like be careful. Always look before you are crossing," said Harbord.

Julia said her mom is part of a group of runners that included a woman killed early Friday morning. Her mom wasn't with the group when three people in the group were hit by a car. The other two victims were hospitalized from their injuries.

Investigators said the runners were not on the sidewalk when they were hit. The driver wasn't charged in the deadly accident, but Julia said it's a reminder for everyone to pay attention on the roads.

“I feel like there's a lot of drivers but it only takes one or two to not be paying attention or to be going too fast or to be on your phone or something. That’s all it takes," said Harbord.

Hillsborough County reported 252 pedestrian crashes so far this year. Out of those 252 crashes, 46 pedestrians were severely injured and 19 died.

The Florida Department of Transportation said they have a team of engineers that analyze every crash report.

“We will look to see could that crash have been prevented. And we will go out to the corridor and we will set up tents for education outreach. We have pedestrians that will walk up to us. Even go out to schools in the area. Really try to make sure people know to use the crosswalks, know to use the sidewalks," said FDOT spokesperson Kris Carson.

FDOT said they are also upgrading street lighting in places with a history of crashes to LED as well as giving people more time to cross certain streets before traffic lights turn green.

“Our mission is one death is too many. We want to prevent all fatalities. All injuries if we can," said Carson.

The Sheriff’s Office had a speed trap in the same area as the fatal crash since Monday. But they say speed does not appear to have been a factor in that crash.