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Teen girl killed in crash on bridge in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A 16-year-old girl was killed Friday evening in a traffic crash on the bridge over Placido Bayou on 40th Avenue NE, police said.

She was a passenger in a sport utility vehicle that crashed about 6:55 p.m., coming to rest atop a concrete barrier bordering the north sidewalk.

The driver, also a 16-year-old girl, survived the accident, police said.

Details of how the crash happened and the names of both girls were not released Friday night as police continued to investigate. Officers diverted traffic for several hours in both directions on 40th Avenue NE, between 12th Street NE and Shore Acres Drive NE.

A long metal pole appeared to have smashed through the windshield on the SUV's passenger side, running through to the right rear door.

The SUV remained propped on the concrete barrier for several hours as emergency crews worked at the scene.

The roar of emergency sirens drew a crowd of neighbors to the scene before sunset.

The driver was sitting on the front porch of a house shortly after the crash as officers questioned her, said Paul Sprunger, who lives nearby. At one point, he said it looked like police gave her a sobriety test.

"It looked like she aced it," he said.

She was later seen being placed on a stretcher and taken away in an ambulance.

Some said drivers are known to speed across the bridge, which connects to the Shore Acres neighborhood. A sign east of the bridge showed the speed limit as 30 mph.

"People that live right here talk about how traffic is bad," said Bill Caseber, 69, of Clearwater, who was doing yard work at his son's home when the crash happened. "They worry about kids in the neighborhood on bicycles."

Teen girl killed in crash on bridge in St. Petersburg 04/19/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 10:28pm]
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