FHP: 3 dead after car goes off Howard Frankland Bridge

Joshua Burbank
Joshua Burbank Bay News 9

ST. PETERSBURG — Three people are dead after their car was hit by a drunk driver on the Howard Frankland Bridge, sending the vehicle over the barricade and into the water, according the Florida Highway Patrol.

Troopers say at about 9:45 p.m. Friday, a 2014 Honda Civic and a 2012 GMC Sierra were eastbound on the Howard Frankland Bridge near milepost 33.

The driver of the Honda Civic failed to maintain control of the vehicle, which hit the rear right side of the GMC Sierra, causing the pickup truck to overturn several times, the FHP report stated.

The pickup truck then overturned over the southern concrete barrier of the bridge and fell into the water below. Troopers say the car left the roadway and entered Tampa Bay in an area where the water is only 2 feet deep.

According to troopers, the three occupants inside the truck were a father, 76; mother, 73; and son, 52; all from Leesburg. All three died. Identities have not been released pending next of kin notification.

The driver of the Honda Civic, identified as Joshua Burbank, 25, Wesley Chapel, was arrested at the scene.

Burbank faces several charges, including three counts of driving under the influence manslaughter, one county DUI property damage and careless driving.

Officials shut down Interstate 275 northbound and diverted traffic off Roosevelt Boulevard while troopers investigated. The Howard Frankland Bridge reopened at 2 a.m. Saturday.