One Dead, One Critical in I-275 Wrong-Way Crash
The wrong-way driver made a U-turn near the center of the Howard Frankland bridge and drove the wrong way for two to three miles before the collision, FHP troopers said.
PINELLAS COUNTY – A Pinellas Park man died this morning (Oct. 19) in a head-on crash that happened because he was driving the wrong-way, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Renard Antonio McGriff, 46, of Pinellas Park, died at the scene. He had been drinking, troopers said.
Mark Joseph Reale, 44, of St. Petersburg, the driver he hit head-on, is in critical condition at Tampa General Hospital where he was taken after the crash. A third driver, Ozgur Akan, 40, of Alpharetta, GA, was not injured.
The crash happened about 5:54 a.m. on northbound I-275 at about mile marker 32 (Fourth Street N) in Pinellas County.
Troopers said Mr. McGriff had been driving a 2010 Chrysler on the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge when he made a U-turn near the center of the bridge. He then began traveling south in the northbound lanes. He drove the wrong way for two or three miles, troopers said, before he hit the 2016 Ford van that Reale was driving head-on.
Both vehicles rotated and Reale’s van was hit by the 2018 GMC SUV that Akan was driving north on I-275.
All three vehicles came to final rest in the northbound lanes of I-275. Those lanes were closed until about 9:08 a.m.
Florida Highway Patrol | Wrong-Way Crash | DUI Crash | Head-On Crash | I-275 Crash | Tampabay News
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