Duke Energy crews respond to downed power poles and live wires across U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs the morning of March 1. Two men died at the scene of a multi-vehicle incident.
TARPON SPRINGS – Traffic is back to normal on U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs Saturday night. The roadway was closed most of the day due to downed power lines and a multi-vehicle incident with two fatalities.
Tarpon Springs police reported that an officer on foot patrol checking businesses in Tarpon Tower heard a loud boom coming from the area of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and U.S 19 about 3 a.m. March 1.
The officer headed to the area and found downed power lines in the road. He attempted to stop traffic headed southbound on U.S. 19; however, two vehicles unavoidably struck the downed lines, the report said.
Jaime E. Alvarado, 18, a worker at a nearby McDonald’s, approached the officer and told him that just after the boom, he saw a white vehicle headed northbound and that another red vehicle, also in the northbound lane, had gone airborne into the retention pond on the east side of U.S. 19.
Duke Energy was alerted about the three downed power poles and multiple live wires in the area. After Duke Energy turned the power off to the area, an adult male was found next to one of the downed poles with wires over him. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police do not yet know if the man was a pedestrian or an occupant of the vehicle found in the pond. Officers noted that the location of the body was in line with where the vehicle went airborne over a 6-foot fence and into the pond.
Tarpon Springs police dive team found an adult male seat-belted into the passenger seat of the vehicle in the pond. The driver’s seat was empty. No other bodies were found. The vehicle was pulled from the pond and authorities report that it was not red but instead was a silver two-door vehicle. Additional description was being withheld until next of kin was notified.
Police reported only one injury from the two southbound vehicles. Marchelle L. Wallace of Port Richey, 17, was treated and released. The three occupants of the second car from Quebec Canada were uninjured. Both vehicles sustained damage.