By Matt Wiley

A woman is dead following an early-morning head-on collision in New Tampa.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), just before 4 a.m. on September 20, Kunjummen Arun Babu, 18, of Zephyrhills, was driving north on Morris Bridge Rd. near Pictoral Park Dr., about half of a mile north of Cross Creek Blvd. in his 2010 Honda Accord. At the same time, Rita Marie Sutliff, 68, also of Zephyrhills, was driving south on Morris Bridge in her 2012 Ford Explorer. Both vehicles were traveling at about 50 m.p.h.

HCSO detectives state that Babu drove out of his lane and drifted into the southbound lane of Morris Bridge, striking Sutliff head-on. The Hillsborough County Fire Rescue (HCFR) Heavy Rescue Unit responded to remove Sutliff from her vehicle. She died at the scene.

Babu was transferred to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries. HCSO says that both drivers were wearing seatbelts and that drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation.

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