Monday’s Top News: Car Accidents, Free Turkeys and More

By Abby Gilman

Deadly Car Crash in St. Petersburg

Two people were killed in a car accident early Monday morning in St. Petersburg. According to police, the vehicle was stolen.

St. Petersburg police said the driver was heading westbound on 38th Avenue North around 3:30 a.m. and lost control of the stolen vehicle while speeding toward the intersection at 49th Street North. The driver lost control of the car, swerved off the road and hit a tree. This caused the car to catch fire and the two occupants were killed.

The crash is still under investigation and the two bodies are pending identification.

Brandon Man Killed in Uber Crash

A Brandon man was killed after stepping out of an Uber and into traffic on Interstate-75 early Monday morning. Uber driver, Tiffany Pittman, 29, was trying to pull over when the man exited the vehicle.

Florida Highway Patrol investigators say the man was intoxicated. Pittman picked him up from a Brooksville Restaurant where two men outside the restaurant assisted in getting the man into the car.

As Pittman was driving southbound on Interstate-75, the man became irritated and Pittman tried to pull over on the shoulder at the exit for Interstate-4. Investigators say the man got out of the car before it came to a complete stop, stepped into a car lane and was hit by two vehicles.

The man died at Tampa General Hospital and has yet to be identified.

New Peanut Allergy Drug

Peanut allergies can be life-threatening and the list of foods people can’t eat is long. A new breakthrough drug for fighting this allergy is one step closer to becoming an FDA approved treatment.

The USF Health Morsani College of Medicine participated in a successful drug trial for children with peanut allergies. A company called Aimmune Therapeutics developed a drug known as AR101. The drug contains small amounts of peanut protein in each capsule.

“This is the largest food allergy study done to date,” said Dr. Thomas Casale, an allergist and immunologist with USF Health. “It is very likely this drug will be approved by the FDA, given the results we’ve had so far.”

Researchers say the drug helps build tolerance to the allergy within the body which may lessen the severity of symptoms for the 2.5 percent of U.S. children who have peanut allergies.

Turkey Giveaway Events for Veterans

Thanksgiving is almost here, and local law firms are giving back.

Bosley and Bratch Law Firm hosted their third annual turkey giveaway for veterans in Clearwater. The event had food, games and goodie bags for attending veterans and their families.

The Pendas Law Firm in Tampa also gave away turkeys to families in need Monday morning. This was the firms 10th year with this tradition.

Christmas Town Opens at Busch Gardens

As November starts to come to a close, Christmas is right around the corner.

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Christmas Town opened Nov. 17 and is here to make sure the Bay area gets in the holiday spirit. You can visit Santa, of course, at Christmas Town. New to the attraction this year: millions of twinkling lights, a Sing-A-Long train and a brand-new holiday show.

Christmas Town is open now through the end of the year.

For more information:

Anchor: Kaitlyn Hart

Director: Sherra Parent

Producer: Katlyn Brieskorn

Technical Director: Galen Martin

Graphics: Steven Carrandi

Audio: Angie Romero

Prompter: Katlyn Brieskorn

Camera Operator: Nada Blassy

Floor Manager: Helen Leon

Teaching Assistant: Dakota Galvin

Graduate Assistant: Kelsey Baker

Faculty Advisor: Cathy Gugerty