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Tampa Man Charged with DUI Manslaughter in Death of Passenger in SR 574 Crash

James Curtis Whatley Jr | FHP | Crime

He was speeding just before the crash, FHP troopers say.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – A driver was accused of DUI after a crash early this morning (Oct. 25) killed his passenger.

His passenger, a 20-year-old woman from Tampa, died at the scene. Neither she nor the driver was wearing a seat belt, Florida Highway Patrol troopers said. The other driver was not injured.

James Curtis Whatley Jr., 21, of Tampa, suffered minor injuries. FHP troopers arrested Whatley and charged him with one count of DUI Manslaughter.

The crash happened about 12:54 a.m. on State Road 574 at I-75 in Hillsborough County.

Troopers said Whatley was driving a sedan east on SR 574 at a high rate of speed. A pickup truck driven by a 43-year-old Lakeland man turned into the path of Whatley’s sedan when it made a left turn to go onto the entrance ramp for I-75. Troopers said the speeding sedan hit the pickup.

After the collision, the sedan went off the roadway and hit a guardrail on the shoulder of the road before coming to a rest.

Florida Highway Patrol | SR 574 Crash | Arrests | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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