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Cape boy dies after crash north of Tampa

By Staff | Nov 18, 2014

A two-vehicle crash north of Tampa on Monday left a Cape Coral boy dead and others hurt.

Nathan Griffith, 5, died from his injuries at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He was transported to the hospital following the accident on Interstate 75.

Officials reported that a Chevrolet Impala, driven by Alexander W. Griffith, 27, of the Cape, was southbound on I-75 in the outside lane. Nathan was a passenger in the car, along with Marissa Griffith, 7, and Sheila A. Griffith, 27, both of the Cape. All were restrained, with Nathan in a booster seat.

South of County Road 41/Blanton Road, a Ford Mustang also traveling south on I-75 in the outside lane approached from behind and struck the rear of the Impala at 9:38 a.m. The Mustang was allegedly moving at a high rate of speed, and the collision occurred in an active construction zone.

The FHP reported that the Impala had its hazard lights on and Griffith was driving approximately 60 mph due to mechanical issues with the car. The collision caused the Impala to overturn onto the outside shoulder, where the car came to a stop. The Mustang traveled to the same shoulder, where it stopped.

All four occupants of the Impala were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Griffith and Sheila A. Griffith sustained minor injuries in the crash, while the injuries to Marissa were listed as serious.

As of Tuesday, neither Griffith, Sheila A. Griffith nor Marissa were listed in the hospital’s directory. According to officials, they were not present or the family asked that no information be released.

An update on their conditions was unavailable.

The driver of the Mustang, Caitlin Marie Grace, 22, of Dade City, sustained serious injuries in the accident and was transported to Tampa General Hospital for treatment, according to the FHP.

Hospital officials reported on Tuesday that Grace was not listed in their directory.

An update on her condition was unavailable.

The crash closed all of the southbound lanes of I-75 for approximately one hour, followed by the closure of the outside lane only. All the lanes were officially reopened to traffic at 1:30 p.m.

Alcohol was not a factor in the traffic accident, according to officials.

The Cape family was reportedly returning home after a vacation in Tennessee.

The investigation is ongoing.