TAMPA -- Two people died Thursday as a result of a head-on wrong-way crash involving three vehicles in north Tampa.
The crash happened just after 6 a.m. on Turner Road, just south of Ehrlich Road.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Eric Sanders, 20, of Tampa, was driving north in the southbound lane of Turner Road.
A witness who was heading south swerved to the right to avoid Sanders' 2005 Toyota Rav-4, and Sanders crashed head-on into a 2012 Nissan driven by Catherine Fleming, 53, deputies said.
“It started getting closer and coming in my lane and just the last second I took a quick swerve to the right and got back on the road," said Savannah Stoltzfoos. "I was like, this is going to cause an accident. Sure enough, look at my rearview mirror two seconds later. Bam."
Leon J. Caines, 25, was driving a 2014 Ford Fusion behind Fleming, deputies said. He was unable to stop in time and hit the passenger side of the Nissan.
Fleming died at the scene from injuries she sustained in the crash.
Fleming's family says she was on her way to work when the crash happened. She leaves behind two adult sons and a husband.
Sanders was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in critical condition. He died from his injuries shortly before 12 p.m.
Sander's father, also named Eric, told Bay News 9 he wants everyone to reserve judgment until the investigation is over. He does not believe his son was driving the wrong way, and believes he may have been avoiding a pot hole and swerved on accident.
Sanders played basketball and football at Gaither High School, where his family says he graduated with a 5.8 grade point average. He leaves behind a new baby boy.
"He was a great kid," Sanders' father told Bay news 9. "I did everything with him. If God gives me the opportunity to speak about him I want people to always remember his father, his mother, his sisters, our lives will never be the same. We are truly shattered by this event."
The family also said they are praying for the other victim in the crash and are sending their condolences to the family.
The third driver, Caines, was not injured.
The crash investigation and cleanup closed the road during rush-hour traffic.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has not released a reason for the crash, but says the investigation is ongoing.