Unhitched trailer kills
Updated: Tuesday, 25 Aug 2009, 5:36 AM EDT
Published : Monday, 24 Aug 2009, 10:54 PM EDT
TAMPA - A trailer came off of a truck in Tampa Monday afternoon and slammed into people at a hot dog stand on Hillsborough Avenue near Nebraska, killing a woman and seriously injuring the owner of the stand.
The stand was about to open for the first time. The owner was still setting up, when out of nowhere, everything stopped.
"We were inside the shop and we heard a loud screech. It sounded like two cars colliding," said James Harris, who was applying for a job inside a car repair shop where the vendor set up.
Police say the pick-up truck was headed west on Hillsborough when the trailer unhitched. Police say the trailer hit the owner of the stand and a friend of his wife's. She was visiting the area from Texas, and police identified her as 40-year-old Catalina Delcarmen Allmon.
"I said 'check her pulse.' He checked her pulse. And basically to tell you the truth, I probably saw her last breath," said James Harris, who saw the accident.
Police say the owner of the stand, 42-year-old Vicente Hernande Quintero, suffered life-threatening injuries.
"We just basically told him to 'relax, try to be calm, just don't move, don't move, wait for the paramedics to come' and we dialed 911," Harris said.
Investigators took measurements and pictures to try to determine what went wrong.
The driver of the truck is 16 years old. He said the trailer detached after he went over a large bump in the road on Hillsborough.
"If it's improperly attached, you can be liable and you can be charged, but again that's so premature," said Tampa Police Lt. Ronald McMullen. "It may have been a freak accident. That's the way it appears at this time, but like I said it's too early to make a determination without all the facts."
Passersby commented that no day is promised.
"They were going to open the stand up and just try to make a dollar in the economy the way it is. It's sad," Harris said.The driver of the truck has not been identified, but police say he has been cited for failure to secure his trailer.