A tire blowout is being blamed for a crash Sunday morning near Apollo Beach in Hillsborough County that killed a Brandon woman and injured six child passengers between the ages of 1 and 11.
Jessica Guevara, 28, lost control of a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee at 7:52 a.m. near the 245 milepost just south of Big Bend Road when the left rear tire blew out, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
She was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the vehicle when it rolled over, according to an FHP accident report.
Two of her six passengers, a 1-year-old boy from Brandon and a 9-year-old girl from Wimauma, have critical injuries, the FHP said. The four others passengers, also from Wimauma and Brandon, sustained minor injuries.
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The vehicle went off the road, overturned and collided with a tree line. Four of the six passengers — girls ages 2, 7, 9 and 11 — were ejected from the vehicle.
The FHP reports that child restraints were used only on the 1-year-old and a 10-year-old girl, and restraints were not in use for the four other children.
The injured children were transported to Tampa General Hospital.
The crash forced the closure of southbound lanes of I-75 for several hours Sunday.
Tom Alberts: 941-745-7040; @alberts_tom