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Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
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Crash interrupts traffic on Courtney Campbell Causeway

A two-vehicle crash shut down the eastbound side of the Courtney Campbell Causeway for several hours, Clearwater Public Safety officials said. The crash happened about 6:30 p.m. According to officials, Antonio Hernandez, 19, was westbound on the causeway in a 2000 Ford pickup and was making a U-turn at Damascus Road when the vehicle was struck by an eastbound 2006 Nissan Altima driven by Marlene Val Belcher, 54. The Nissan's engine compartment erupted into flames. Bystanders pulled Val-Belcher from the vehicle before Clearwater Fire Rescue arrived. Firefighters treated a total of nine patients; eight of them were from the pickup.
Four of those injured were transported to the hospital. They included a 9-year-old male, a 23-year-old male and 26-year-old-female, all with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, and a 28-year-old-female with minor injuries Hernandez was issued cited for no valid driver's license, failure to yield to oncoming traffic and no proof of insurance. Westbound traffic was limited to one lane, and both eastbound lanes were shut down until 9:10 p.m.
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