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[09-28-23] Crash on the Howard Frankland Bridge Under Investigation

Shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 26, 2023, an officer from the St. Petersburg Police Department came up upon a vehicle crash in the southbound lanes of I-275 near the middle of the Howard Frankland Bridge.

In assessing the three-vehicle crash, the officer became aware that one of the drivers had been stabbed during an altercation from a road rage incident. The suspect in the stabbing was detained by the officer.

After securing the suspect, the officer immediately initiated first aid measures on the victim to control the bleeding. The victim was transported by ambulance to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg with injuries to his hand and arm.

Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) discovered that a 35-year-old Tampa man (Driver 1) had stopped in the travel lanes and was slumped over inside his vehicle for unknown reason.

A 40-year-old Tampa man (Driver 2) and his 43-year-old wife observed the hazard and stopped ahead of slumped over driver.

Driver 2 exited his vehicle to render aid to the passed out driver but unable to access him. He returned to his vehicle to retrieve an item to break the window to assist the driver. Before this could occur, the driver awoke and drove forward, colliding with Driver 2’s vehicle.

Unable to continue forward, the newly awaken driver reversed and attempted to drive around Driver 2’s vehicle.

Driver 1 collided with the driver of a third vehicle that was passing the incident. The driver of the third vehicle was identified as 38-year-old Patrick Douglas Scruggs of Tampa.

Scruggs, exited his vehicle, approached Driver 1, broke out the side window and began to stab Driver 1 multiple times with a pocket knife.

Driver 2 and his wife returned to assist the initial driver in an effort to intercept the actions of Scruggs. As the pair approached, Scruggs diverted his attention and attempted to stab the man and his wife who both fled before being harmed.

A passing St. Petersburg Police Officer stopped, detained Scruggs, and rendered aid to the victim who was transported to an area hospital with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

The suspect, 38-year-old Patrick Scruggs of Tampa, was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail on the following charges

Armed Burglary
Aggravated Assault
Aggravated Battery with a deadly weapon

The incident closed three southbound lanes on I-275.

Troopers from the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) continue investigating the crash.

All lanes were reopened at approximately 12:10 p.m.

Source : IONTB

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If you or a loved one were involved in or affected by this accident and would like the incident’s official Police Report, our Tampa Personal Injury Lawyers might be able to help.


Car accidents happen all too often in the United States. According to the U.S. Transportation Department, the number of traffic deaths nationwide surged in the first nine months of 2021 to 31,720. The number was 12 percent higher than the same period in 2020 and the highest nine-month figure since 2006. The bustling streets of Tampa are a hotbed for possible car accidents. Arterials such as Colfax Avenue and Federal Boulevard are some of the deadliest roads in Tampa and unfortunately provide many opportunities for potentially serious car accidents. Following the nationwide trend, Tampa car accidents have also been on the rise. According to an analysis from Tampaite, traffic fatalities had reached an all-time high in 2021 with 84 people dying in traffic crashes last year. This had surpassed Tampa’s 2019 record of 71 people. One of the ways the city is trying to cope with these figures is by reducing the speed limit in residential areas from 25 to 20 MPH. This so-called “20 is plenty” ordinance has been lauded by safer streets activist groups such as The Tampa Streets Partnership who see this as the right direction. With only 20% of total traffic accidents happening on roads with speed limits of 25 MPH or less, time will tell if this ordinance will have the desired effect. There are many different types of car accidents, but multi-vehicle accidents are one of them. When two or more cars come together, accidents like this happen all the time. You have a good chance that three vehicles will be hit when two vehicles hit each other. A variety of factors caused these collisions. Distracted driving, speeding, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, driving in bad weather, driving the wrong way, and failing to obey traffic laws are examples of dangerous behaviors.


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