Early Wednesday, on the morning of January 16, 2013, a wrong-way crash in St. Petersburg occurred on Interstate 275 around 6:00 a.m. More specifically, the wreck took place near the Howard Frankland Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Driver Gabriel Magno-Sanchez, 25, of Tampa, was traveling north in southbound lanes on I-275. His 2004 Kia Optima sideswiped a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta, just north of Fourth Street North. Jetta driver Kimberly S. Patterson, 35, of Tampa, was traveling in the inside southbound lane when she saw the wrong-way driver. According to reports, Sanchez swerved to the inside shoulder to avoid hitting her, which is why the crash resulted in a sideswipe instead of a head-on accident.
After making impact with the Jetta, Sanchez continued driving in the wrong direction and entered the Howard Frankland Bridge. However, he was stopped by troopers and a University of South Florida police officer at that time.
Police believe Sanchez got onto Interstate 275 at Gandy Boulevard where he went up the off ramp and begun traveling north in southbound lanes. He was arrested on charges of driving the wrong way on a limited access roadway and leaving the scene of a crash, and he was taken to the Pinellas County Jail.
Patterson suffered minor injuries and was transported to Tampa General for medical treatment.
Mallard Perez would like to extend our best wishes to Kimberly Patterson for a complete and speedy recovery following this crash.