Pedestrian Killed in Crash Outside Academy

January 9, 2020


Photo Credit: Mei Lamison/Achona Online

“I was in AP Lit. Everyone heard it and went to the window,” said Sam Cuttle (’20).

On Jan 9 during set one, students in Academy’s Bayshore building heard a loud clash.

Around 11 a.m. a Pinch-a-Penny truck crashed into the Bayshore Boulevard wall, hitting a pedestrian.

The collusion occurred right outside of Academy at the intersection of West Julia and Bayshore Boulevard. Both streets are currently closed.

Tampa Police stated the the pedestrian was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

“I was in Social Justice when it happened. The entire class heard everything. A few minuets later, there were fire trucks and ambulances. It was scary,” said Megan Smolarick (’20).

According to WFLA 8 On Your Side News, dive crews were seen attempting to rescue a person in the water. A hazardous materials team was also seen cleaning up pool chemicals spilled from the truck during the crash.

Specific details and circumstances are not yet clear.

UPDATE 2:42 p.m. 

A breaking Tampa Bay Times article reported the pedestrian was killed. It is still unclear, however, if the victim died on the scene. The pedestrian has not yet been identified.

A University of Tampa student and another bystander jumped into the water in an attempt to save the victim. Police are now investigating the speed of the truck and whether or not alcohol was a factor.

UPDATE 6:54 p.m.

According to eyewitness accounts, the truck was traveling 60 to 70 mph. Bayshore’s speed limit is 35 mph.

Firefighters arrived 12 minutes after the crash. Both the pedestrian and driver were taken to the hospital.

The driver of the Pinch-a-Penny truck is expected to survive. Tampa Police stated the collision is now being investigated as a DUI traffic fatality.

The victim has been identified as an adult male.

UPDATE Jan 10 7:58 a.m. 

The driver has been identified as 31-year-old Benjamin Ehas. Last night, he was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter.

After the crash Ehas’s BAC was .234.

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  • ToriJan 13, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    Was so scared when I heard about this!!

  • BellaJan 13, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    I very much do believe this was a horrible thing that happened to the runner. I’ve heard several times about crashes on Bayshore, and I think that there is a need to put a speed limit around that area and more traffic lights. In addition, I strongly believe that this is why people shouldn’t drink and drive. I also think that this is a perfect example to show how the drinking age should be raised due to some cases such as this. Also, I can’t imagine how the family of the runner felt when they heard the sad news of when their child died. I just hope that a lot of people are praying for them, because I know I am. Lastly, even though the driver caused the accident I hope he recovers and gets well soon because I wouldn’t want to wish pain and misery on anyone no matter what they have done.

  • Sarah AschenbrennerJan 13, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    We’ll keep him in our prayers 💕🙏

  • Ms. JJan 9, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    Thank you to our Achona staff for keeping us up to date, both with the news stories over break and the tragedy that occurred on Bayshore today. Your reporting is valued and appreciated by our school community.

  • DLJJan 9, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    So incredibly sad. Excellent reporting.