Three dead, one arrest after car careens off Howard Frankland

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-03 14:15:19-04

Three people are dead and one man is in jail after a car crashed over the side of the Howard Frankland Bridge and into Tampa Bay Friday night.

Tampa Fire Rescue and Pinellas Fire Rescue said the car fell into the water on the Pinellas County side. Authorities later determined a traffic crash occurred before the vehicle ending up in the water.

TRAFFIC ALERT | NB I-275 across Howard Frankland Bridge is open.

A 2015 Honda Civic and a 2012 GMC Sierra were both traveling northbound on Interstate 275 near Mile Marker 33 about 9:40 p.m. Friday, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The driver of the Honda failed to maintain control and collide with the rear right side of the Sierra traveling in an adjacent lane. The Sierra overturned several times and flipped over a concrete barrier wall, ending up in the water.

The Honda stopped on the shoulder of NB I-275. Robert Getter, 76, of Leesburg, who was driving the Sierra, and his 73-year-old wife, Karen Getter, were pronounced dead shortly after the crash. Their 52-year-old son, Samuel Getter, was taken to an area hospital, where they later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

Joshua Eric Burbank, 25. of Wesley Chapel was arrested on three counts of driving under the influence manslaughter and one count of driving under the influence property damage. He was being held Saturday in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $61,000 bond. 

The Florida Highway Patrol said the names of the three victims - a 76-year-old man, 73-year-old woman and 52-year-old man, all from Leesburg, have not been released pending notification of next of kin.

Friday night there were reports good Samaritans jumped into the water to try to save the people inside the Sierra.