Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
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    Release Number: 18-822

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Affairs Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • December 17, 2018
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Affairs Office : piocommandcenter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Traffic Fatality

    Passenger dies in single vehicle traffic crash.
    • Saturday
    • December 15, 2018
    • Time: 12:15 AM
    • County Road 39


    On 12-15-18 at approximately 0015 hours a traffic crash occurred on County Road 39, south of Carter Road, when five related individuals were on their way home from fishing.  Salvador Mendez Hernandez, 35, of Wimauma,was driving his 2012 Ford Expedition southbound on County Road 39.  He drove off the west road edge, struck a mailbox, then lost control trying to return to the roadway.  The Ford then slid on the wet pavement, exited off the edge of the road and struck a tree. The passenger seated in the left rear position of the vehicle's third row suffered fatal injuries as a result of the proximity of the impact.  Joel Lopez Mendez, 26, was restrained when he passed away.  The remaining passengers from the Ford were transported to Tampa General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.  Alcohol is not suspected to be a contributing factor. The driver and the victim were cousins. Next of kin has been notified.

    This is an ongoing and active investigation.

  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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