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Odessa Man Dies in Dale Mabry Crash

The man’s Ford Explorer burst into flames after it struck another vehicle early this morning, Feb. 24.

A 20-year-old Odessa man is dead following an early morning crash today, Feb. 24, on Dale Mabry Highway at Bearss Avenue.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident occurred around 5:30 a.m. when a Ford Explorer driven by Michael Gregory Backus of Odessa was traveling northbound on North Dale Mabry Highway and ran a red light. Backus’ Explorer crossed into the path of another vehicle that was trying to make a left-hand turn onto Bearss Avenue under a green traffic signal.

The front left portion of Backus’ Explorer struck the front right portion of the 2003 Ford Expedition driven by Edward Scanlon, 49, of Tampa, a highway patrol media release said.

Backus’ vehicle rotated clockwise, overturned and then struck a pedestrian cross walk sign before bursting into flames, the release said. Scanlon’s vehicle spun counter-clockwise and ended up facing southwest in the center lane of Dale Mabry Highway.

Backus died at the scene, the release said.

Scanlon and his passenger, Michael Patrick Scanlon, 43, of Indian Trail, N.C., suffered serious injuries.

The accident remains under investigation.

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