A young mother was killed and her two young children were injured Sunday morning when the woman crashed her minivan into a utility pole off Wilder Road, authorities said.
Veronica Garcia, 25, died at the scene. Geovanni Ibarra, 4, and Jonathan Ibarra, 1, who was ejected from the van, were taken to Tampa General Hospital with minor injuries.
None of them were wearing seat belts, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.
Deputies say Garcia was driving north on Wilder Road near Knights Griffin Road around 7 a.m. when her 2005 Buick Terrazo drifted off the road. Garcia overcorrected into the oncoming lane, then swerved back to the right and lost control of the vehicle, deputies said.
The vehicle spun into a ditch and hit a TECO utility pole, causing power lines to fall from the insulators and lean against the pole.
A nearby resident, Ralph Patterson, heard the crash and screaming children. He flagged down Kirk Butts, a nearby neighbor, and the two - despite knowing if the vehicle could be electrically charged - pulled Geovanni from the van, deputies said.
“I heard this horrific scream, (saw) a gentleman standing in the street with a flashlight. And he said there's been a terrible accident," Butts said. "I looked over to my right, 'cause it was still dark, and there was a van in the ditch. It hit a telephone pole."
Butts said there was no time to think, just act when he realized children were involved in the crash.
"The window had popped out and he (Geovanni) was standing there just motionless," he said. "So I picked him up and took him out to the older gentleman. Then I proceeded to go down and pick up the other small child in the water by the telephone pole. Apparently, he had been ejected from the vehicle."
No other vehicles involved and alcohol is not suspected, deputies said. The crash remains under investigation.