Thursday, Apr 17, 2014
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Music teacher, two students injured in crash with semi


Published:   |   Updated: January 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM

A Tampa music teacher from Hernando County and two Blake High School students were injured Tuesday morning after their car collided with a tractor-trailer on Van Dyke Road, deputies said.

Merritt Tilson, 40, of Spring Hill, was the driver of the 2013 Hyundai Elantra involved in the crash, the Hillsborough County Sheriff Office said. Tilson teaches at Lake Magdalene and Morgan Woods elementaries, Hillsborough school district spokeswoman Tanya Arja said.

Tilson's passengers were her son, 15-year-old Alex Tilson, also of Spring Hill, and 15-year-old Katherine Stairs, of Lutz, sheriff's office spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. Tilson was driving the teens to school, Carter said.

All three were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Merritt Tilson and Stairs left the crash scene in critical condition, Carter said. Alex Tilson was not incapacitated, Carter said.

About 6:30 a.m., Tilson was attempting to cross Van Dyke from a private driveway near Tobacco Road as a 2007 Freightliner was heading west, deputies said. The Hyundai entered the path of the truck, whose driver applied the brakes but struck the driver's side, deputies said.

The driver of the Freightliner, 30-year-old Edwin Delgado, of Wesley Chapel, was not injured, deputies said.

The crash remains under investigation.

Tilson and her husband own All About Music, which provides music lessons in Spring Hill, according to the store's website.

Stay with TBO.com for updates.

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