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Three Children Seriously Hurt in I-75 Hit and Run Crash

Police | Police Tape | TB Reporter

The pickup truck driven in the hit and run was found abandoned. The Florida Highway Patrol said it found the driver in Manatee County.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – One child was critically injured and two others were seriously hurt in a hit and run crash on I-27 on Wednesday (Dec. 27) night, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

Ashley Sandoval, 6, was critically injured. Sahirys Sandoval, 8, and Rodner Sandoval, 10, were seriously injured. Jesus Sandoval, 35, the driver of the SUV in which the children were riding, received minor injuries. All, from Ruskin, were taken to Tampa General Hospital. Rodner and Ashley were not wearing seat belts nor were they in child safety seats. Sahirys and Ashley were thrown from the SUV, troopers said.

Billy Noel Catherwood | Florida Highway Patrol | Crime
Billy Noel Catherwood

The driver of the pickup truck that hit them initially fled the scene, troopers said. They said they found the 2004 Ford F150 that hit the Sandoval’s about 10 p.m. abandoned on southbound I-75 near the 229 milepost. Troopers said they found the driver, Billy Noel Catherwood, 63, of Naples, several hours after the crash in Manatee County. After providing a breath sample of 0.15, Catherwood was arrested.

Records from the Manatee County jail indicate Catherwood was charged with DUI damage to persons/property, DUI serious bodily injury, and leaving the scene of a crash. Catherwood had no injuries from the crash.

The crash happened about 8:26 p.m. on southbound I-75 approaching State Road 674 at milepost.

Troopers said Jesus Sandoval was driving a 2004 Ford Explorer south on I-75 when a 2004 Ford F150, which was traveling at a high rate of speed, overtook him and rear-ended his SUV. The impact pushed the SUV onto the grass median where it overturned, throwing Sahirys and Ashley from the SUV.


Florida Highway Patrol | I-75 Crash | Hit and Run Crash | Traffic Crash | Tampabay News

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