DUNEDIN – Two people suffered life-threatening injuries in a two-vehicle crash that occurred about 11:43 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the intersection of Belcher Road and Highland Woods Drive, just south of Curlew Road, in Dunedin.
A third was transported to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
According to investigators with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Major Accident Investigation Team, a 2006 Ford F350 driven by Shalindra Kasinath, 31, Zephyrhills was traveling northbound at a slow rate of speed in the curbside lane of Belcher Road. The truck, owned by Hubbard Construction, was pulling a directional arrow signboard through an area of construction. The sign was directing drivers to the median lane.
A 2002 Ford Sport Track driven by Cory Ziegler, 18, of Tarpon Springs was traveling northbound in the median lane of Belcher Road. Ziegler changed lanes into the curbside lane to go around a slower moving vehicle. As he changed lanes, he noticed the arrow board and attempted to accelerate around the slow moving vehicle, according to deputies.
As he attempted to move back into the median lane to avoid the arrow board trailer, Ziegler struck the trailer with the rear quarter panel of his vehicle, causing him to lose control and the vehicle to fishtail. Deputies said the Ford then struck the median and began to roll.
The roll caused Ziegler’s three passengers, James Spence, 18, of Tarpon Springs, Jessie Aldridge, 17, and Kyle Aldridge, 17, both of Palm Harbor to be ejected from the vehicle. Deputies said the three did not appear to be wearing seatbelts. Ziegler was not ejected. Deputies said he was wearing a seatbelt and was uninjured.
Spence and Jessie Aldreidge were transported by air to Bayfront Medical Center for treatment of life threatening injuries. Kyle Aldridge was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph’s Hospital for treatment of minor non-life threatening injuries.
Deputies said speed appears to be a factor in the crash. Northbound Belcher at Curlew Drive was shut down for approximately six hours while deputies conducted their investigation.