ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Investigators have a recovered a body near the Howard Frankland Bridge that has been identified as the missing driver from Wednesday's crash.
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit located the remains of 53-year-old Hiran Reis Vaz in the water near the bridge Thursday afternoon.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Vaz was behind the wheel of the white SUV that flipped and plunged into Tampa Bay following a crash on the bridge Wednesday morning.
A wrecker pulled the vehicle from the water below the bridge after the accident, but no occupants were found in the car when it was recovered.
The Florida Highway Patrol said the SUV had been driving recklessly just before the accident around 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Troopers said a white 2006 Saturn SUV changed lanes and into the path of a Ford F-150 as they headed southbound on the bridge.
Investigators now believe the two vehicles jockeyed for position, tailgating and changing lanes. That's when the rear of the SUV collided with the front-left side of the truck. The SUV rotated and overturned multiple times before flipping over the side of the bridge and into the waters of Tampa Bay.