Passenger Killed in Wrong-Way Crash Near Tampa International Airport Was Visiting Friends for Gasparilla
Tampa, FL (2/5/2020) – Early last week, an Uber driver and his passenger were killed after being hit by a wrong-way driver on George J. Bean Parkway near Tampa International Airport. 23-year-old Billy Holzapfel, the passenger in the Uber, was visiting Tampa to celebrate Gasparilla with his friends.
Byron Downen, who was a long-time friend of Holzapfel, said that “[Billy] had just graduated from Northern Illinois University, [and] had also started a job.” Holzapfel came down to Tampa to celebrate the next phase of his life with his friends.
According to police, the wrong-way driver Alexander Jacobson, 30, also attended Gasparilla and smelled like alcohol when he exited his vehicle after the crash. Jacobson was driving his Jeep the wrong-way on George J. Bean Parkway when he hit a Ford Fusion head-on, killing both Holzapfel and his Uber driver Juan Santana Tortosa.
Jacobson faces two counts of vehicular homicide and DUI manslaughter. He is currently being held in the Orient Road Jail in Hillsborough County.
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Our hearts go out to all of those impacted by this tragedy. Car accidents like this one occur far too often in Florida. It’s essential that car accidents be thoroughly investigated so that the cause of the collision can be understood, and the responsible party can be identified and, if warranted, held accountable.
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