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2 children among 5 killed in multi-vehicle crash near Tampa

WFTS-TV image
WFTS-TV image

TAMPA, Fla. – The Florida Highway Patrol sys five people, including two young children, are dead following a fiery crash in Tampa.

Troopers said in a news release that 9-year-old John Bernal, 10-year-old Isabell Bernal and 39-year-old Marianela Murillo died in the four-vehicle crash on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Two other passengers in the van -- 15-year-old Luisa Louisa and 18-year-old Lina Bernal -- are in critical condition. The van caught fire after the crash.

An incident report says that for unknown reasons, 22-year-old Pablo Cortes Jr. lost control of his car, crossed a median and hit the other vehicles head on. A 19-year-old passenger Jolie Bartolome also died in the crash.

The driver of the third vehicle has serious injuries.

Gregory Hawkins told WFTS-TV he was driving down MLK and saw two cars speed past him. Hawkins said he helped pull children out of one of the cars involved in the crash.

"I pulled her out, then I sat her on the sidewalk. I went back, there was a young kid. I pulled him out, sat him on the sidewalk. I went back there was a heavy set female, tried to get her out. The young gentleman wasn't getting no breath at all really," Hawkins said.

The crash closed roads in the area until around 4 a.m. Thursday.