Pedestrian struck and killed on I-4 east bound
PCSO Press Release:
On August 9, 2019 at approximately 9:50 p.m., deputies responded to a reported vehicle vs. pedestrian crash on I-4 east bound east of 557A near mile marker 46 and the east bound rest area. According to interviews and evidence collected at the scene PCSO traffic homicide investigators have determined that 64-year-old David Cotter of Tampa was struck and killed by an eastbound Kenworth T680 semi-tractor with tandem trailers driving in the center lane. The driver told deputies that Cotter ran out into the path of the semi-tractor from the outside shoulder of the road. Cotter’s vehicle, a 2007 Subaru Forrester was parked along the outside (south) shoulder of eastbound lanes. Cotter was wearing dark clothing.
The driver of the Kenworth swerved to the left attempting to avoid Mr. Cotter and struck a 2017 blue Kia Forte that was in the left lane of travel. Both the semi-tractor and Kia Forte came to rest off the left shoulder into the median. The driver of the truck, 53-year-old Peter Diaz of Tampa was not hurt. The driver and three passengers of the Kia were transported as a precaution due to complaints of pain to Heart of Florida Hospital, treated and released. There were no significant injuries.
While inventorying Cotter’s Subaru, detectives noticed blood inside the car that was not related to the crash. Further investigation led to contact with the Tampa Police Department. PCSO Detectives learned that TPD had an outstanding probable cause affidavit out for Cotter. Earlier in the evening, TPD had worked a domestic battery at Cotter’s residence, finding his spouse severely beaten requiring hospitalization.
PCSO detectives are investigating the possibility that Cotter may have intentionally run into traffic to harm himself.
The drivers of the tractor trailer and the Kia showed no signs of impairment. Distracted driving is not suspected. Excessive speed is not suspected. No charges are currently anticipated for either driver. Impairment on the part of Cotter is unknown and will be determined following the Medical Examiner’s toxicology report.