As you know, I love to ride my bicycle each day along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Florida. The area is so beautiful and I love looking at the bay, wildlife, impeccably manicured gardens and the beautiful mansions all along this beautiful Boulevard.
While on my bicycle ride at about Noon on Wednesday I reached the point just to the right of the yellow tape that was attached to the sea wall and that extended across this entire street as seen in the photo below. I literally had to come to complete stop there and eventually (after I got my composure) I had to detour around the yellow tape so that I could continue on my bicycle ride along the bay.
At that time when I arrived to that area, there were so many police and ambulances right there in front of me (literally within just 50 feet). Naturally, I was not going to bother any of the police or medical personnel to get any details of what happened, as they naturally were busy attending to things, but I knew that something terrible occurred when I saw that baby carriage just lying there in the street. My heart sank as I just sat there perched on my bicycle feeling a bit helpless and wishing there was something I could do. I literally was only 5 minutes from arriving to that exact spot where this terrible tragedy happened. I thought to myself, it could have been me that could have easily have been hit at that location that day as I often cross Bayshore Boulevard at that point to ride up and down some of the beautiful neighborhood streets in that area on the other side of that boulevard. It really made me think how fragile our lives are. One minute everything is fine and the next minute you are gone !
I just saw that this accident was highlighted on this evening’s ABC National News with David Muir. I did not catch the details on the local news last night of what actually had happened there of Bayshore Boulevard as I went to Saint Petersburg last night for a social function. It wasn’t until tonight’s national news that I actually learned the details of what happened. I was literally right there just to the right of that black car in the photo. My heart sank to think that this poor mother of only 24 years was killed and now I have just learned this evening that her infant who was in the hospital fighting for her life did not survive and passed away this afternoon. This is so sad and brings tears to my eyes. When will people learn to drive more safely and to not do crazy things like these 3 teenagers did by racing down this residential road . Because of their careless actions, these two “angels” are gone and so many lives who were family and friends of this young mother and infant will now be affected for the rest of their lives by this horrible tragedy.
Please say a prayer this evening on behalf of these victims who prior to this accident had a whole life ahead of them to look forward to. May God now embrace them and welcome them into the gates of heaven and into eternal life. I know that Terry will also be there to welcome them to heaven as well.
I wish you all have a safe Memorial Day weekend and hope you have an opportunity to be with your loved ones and friends.
Three arrested for street racing after mother fatally struck pushing stroller on Bayshore Boulevard
The race ended with the death of a 24-year-old mother struck while pushing her stroller across the boulevard, according to Tampa police.
The mother, Jessica Raubenolt of Jeromesville, Ohio, was rushed to nearby Tampa General Hospital for emergency medical treatment. That’s where she was pronounced dead.
Her 21-month-old daughter, Lillia, was also seriously injured in the crash.
Hours later, police made three arrests:
Cameron Coyle Herrin, 18, was driving the Mustang that struck the mother, police said. He face charges of vehicular homicide, street racing, and reckless driving resulting in serious bodily injury.
Riding with him was his brother, Tristan Christopher Herrin, 20, who as the passenger faces a misdemeanor charge of racing. Under state law, it is also illegal for someone to “knowingly ride as a passenger in any such race.” Police said they have no evidence he tried to stop the race or get out of the car.
The Nissan driver, John Alexander Barrineau, 17, was arrested on charges of vehicular homicide, street racing, and reckless driving resulting in serious bodily injury.
All three live within minutes of the crash scene. All three were booked into the Hillsborough County jail.
The crash took place at 11:43 a.m. at Bayshore Boulevard and W Knights Avenue. Raubenolt was visiting the bay area, according to police, and legally crossing the intersection using the pedestrian ramp when she was struck.
Witnesses estimated that the two cars may have been going as fast as 60 mph at some point while racing each other, but police could not confirm that, nor say how fast they were traveling when the pedestrian was struck.
The two cars involved in the incident remained at the scene. However, all three of the occupants declined to speak to officers.
When reached by phone, Raubenolt’s family declined to comment. The parents of the arrested could not be reached for comment.
Speeding is a perennial problem on Bayshore, said Tampa police spokesman Steve Hegarty. Hours before Wednesday’s incident, police were monitoring the road and cracking down on speeders.
“That is an issue on Bayshore,” he said. “We had motorcycle (officers) out writing tickets this morning.
“People aren’t happy about it, but that’s what we do to remind people you’re not supposed to drive fast out there. We make an effort to slow things down but we’re not out there 24-7. We can’t be out there 24-7.”
Bayshore Boulevard is a four-lane roadway divided by a wide median of grass and trees with sidewalks along both sides. On one side are some of the city’s most expensive mansions. On the other, along the water, there is a linear park and a signature balustrade.
In February 2004, 39-year-old jogger Melissa McKenzie was struck and killed on the grassy median along Bayshore Boulevard. Tampa police said then that the motorcyclist they arrested was doing up to 80 mph at the time.
The death prompted then-Mayor Pam Iorio to form a task force to examine ways to make Bayshore safer. In the years since, pedestrian safety projects were completed, bicycle lanes and signage added and signals upgraded. But speeding and safety remain serious problems there.
There are no crosswalks along the nearly two-mile stretch from Gandy Boulevard north to Bay to Bay Boulevard, the area where Wednesday’s fatal incident took place. The speed limit for much of the stretch is 40 mph. Neighborhood efforts in recent years to reduce the speed limit along part of the route have been unsuccessful.
Brian Butterly, 56, who normally walks Bayshore Boulevard with a group of five people once a week, said they didn’t want to walk after the incident.
“It’s almost impossible to cross the road because there are no crosswalks,” Butterly said. “You have to fight two lanes of traffic going in both directions and the speed limit … is almost always ignored.”
What was unusual about Wednesday’s fatality, Hegarty said, were the allegations of racing.
“Although speeding is an ongoing problem on Bayshore, racing has not really been a problem,” he said. “We see that sort of thing on the bridges.
“But the kinds of problems that we get on Bayshore are that people are just going over the speed limit.”
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story identified Jessica Raubenolt incorrectly by her maiden name.
Staff writers Jonathan Capriel and Will Kennedy contributed to this report. Contact Tim Fanning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three men charged with street racing in Bayshore Boulevard crash are recent graduates of Tampa Catholic High School