SUV slams into Tampa home; continuing trend in area for 2018

Neighbors demand safety changes to intersection
Posted at 5:32 PM, Nov 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-23 18:09:57-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A car slammed into a home in Seminole Heights. Everyone made it out ok but the homeowner is more than frustrated, saying he's been warning the city for years about the intersection.

Edgar Sanchez was just getting ready to put his home up for rent but now this crash has set him back months. The SUV took down a pillar, punched a hole through the side of his house and damaged the porch of the neighboring home.

It's the day after Thanksgiving and gratitude hasn't dried up for Sanchez. He's just thankful the crash wasn't worse. He says he was in the kitchen toward the back of the home when a loud noise jolted him.

“And all I heard was just a big bang and then the glass shattering," said Sanchez.

The SUV narrowly missing the front door at the corner of North Highland and West Violet in Seminole Heights. Roshad Rhodes was behind the wheel.

“I turned this corner and someone just came up behind me and flipped the back of it and before I knew it—it’s a big truck— I couldn’t turn," he said.

Rhodes was in the car with family members and his dogs. Paramedics took one of his relatives to the hospital with minor injuries.

Cars ending up in homes is nothing new for the Heights. Back in July, three of these crashes happened in a 24-hour span. Neighbors even created a Facebook page called "Heights Traffic Awareness Campaign" to discuss what can be done.

Sanchez is sick of it and says his intersection is a big problem. He shared pictures showing several recent and separate crashes happening right in front of his home.

“It’s absolutely confusing and if you are not from the neighborhood it can be chaos," he said.

He blames speeders and the road design.

"It's upsetting," he said, "We don't know what to do."

He claims drivers often get jumbled by the turn and stop sign but says letters and phone calls to the city went nowhere.

“They pretty much said they can’t do anything and if they do anything else it will slow down the traffic," said Sanchez.

This homeowner says what's next is insurance claims and a renewed effort in getting answers and solutions from the city.

ABC Action News reached out to the City of Tampa for comment but offices are closed due to Thanksgiving holiday. We'll reach out again.