Agencies: Florida Highway Patrol
Cause of death: vehicular
Last updated: 6 months ago
According to police, Torren Lee Jackson, 16 died fleeing from Florida Highway Patrol during an attempted traffic stop on August 6, 2020. Their car crashed on the Howard Frankland Bridge and they jumped into Tampa Bay.
Jackson, of Tampa was dead when authorities pulled him from the water, troopers said.
Joshua Richard Reed-Acton, 18, of Temple Terrace survived but was seriously injured when he was rescued from the bay and taken to a local hospital. Reed-Acton was booked into the Hillsborough County jail Friday where he faces two felony possession of cannabis charges, a felony charge for possession of cannabis with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver and a charge for possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.
Troopers suspect Reed-Acton was driving, but investigators were still working Friday to confirm that, said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol.
Neither had a valid license, troopers said. Investigators found 3.1 pounds of weed, a loaded revolver and cash in the crashed car, according to the Highway Patrol.
The incident started at about 4:10 p.m. Thursday when a trooper attempted to pull over a 2012 Chevy Caprice speeding north on Interstate 275 near milepost 28 in St. Petersburg, rapidly approaching the bridge.
The car at times exceeded 120 mph, the Highway Patrol said, passed a trooper and kept going. The trooper gave up the chase at milepost 31, the Highway Patrol said, because the car was being driven recklessly and it became too dangerous to continue the chase.
But the car didn’t slow down as it entered the Howard Frankland. It was still speeding when it crashed into three vehicles east of the hump, near milepost 36 on the Tampa side of the bridge.
Two males exited the crashed car, troopers said, and jumped over the bridge’s concrete barrier and into the waters of Tampa Bay.
A rush of law enforcement and rescue vehicles arrived and blocked all northbound lanes. The bridge entrance into Tampa is one of the worst traffic choke points in the Tampa Bay region, and Thursday’s events only made that worse.