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Thursday, Nov 23, 2017
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Head-on crash kills Wesley Chapel teacher and Zephyrhills man

TAMPA — Two men, including a high school math teacher, were killed Monday in a head-on crash on Morris Bridge Road, deputies said.

Howard William Hawkins Jr., 50, of Zephyrhills was driving south on Morris Bridge Road near the Pasco County line about 6:45 a.m. when his Kia Forte crossed the center line and struck a northbound Ford Fusion, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Hawkins and the driver of the Ford, 38-year-old Marcellus Andre Shackelford of Tampa, died at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

Shackelford had taught math at Wesley Chapel High School since 2016. He also coached the junior varsity girls basketball team.

On Monday, students made cards and signed a banner for his wife and two children, said Linda Cobbe, spokeswoman for Pasco County Schools.

Hawkins was a longtime employee of BlueGrace Logistics in West Tampa, said Joe DeStefano, a senior manager with the company.

"He was a huge part of our company," DeStefano said. "Everyone is grieving. He was by far one of the hardest working people I've ever met."

The crash closed Morris Bridge in both directions for about five hours while deputies investigated.

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