Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Woman, 85, dies after Aug. 5 crash

Woman, 85, dies after
Aug. 5 crash


Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

A suburban Boca Raton
woman died Saturday
morning after being hit by
a car earlier this month,
the Palm Beach County
Sheriff's Office said.
Miriam ]. Link, 85, died
at Jackson Memorial Hospital
in Miami. She was
s truck Aug. 5 in the 22000
block of Camino Del Mar.
According to a sheriffs
crash report, Link was
waiting at a crosswalk to
be picked up by her caretaker,
who was driving
Link's vehicle. Delrose
M. Reynolds, 57, of Coral
Springs, backed the 2000
Lexus out of a parking
spot to get closer to Link.
But Reynolds hit the accelerator
thinking it was
the brake, the report said.
She struck Link, knocking
her to the ground.
Palm Beach Post
Palm Beach County

August 31, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

Gibsonton teen dies in crash

A Gibsonton man died early Saturday after his car hit a ditch and flipped over in
Riverview, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said. Dusty Lee Maskrey,19, was
headed south on Riverview Drive at 2:23 am when he missed a curve, hit a ditch
and struck a utility pole near Van Fleet Road, investigators said. Maskrey of Isabel
Avenue was alone in the 1993 Ford Mustang convertible. He died at the scene, deputies said.
St Petersburg Times
Pinellas County

New Port Richey motorcyclist dies in crash

A 36- year-old motorcyclist was killed after he veered off Cecilia Drive and crashed Friday afternoon, police said. Luis R. Torres of New Port Richey was westbound near
Greenwood Street when, for an unknown reason, his 2008 Suzuki GSXR-1000 went off the
road and crashed into a parked car at about 4:20 p.m., according to New Port Richey police. Torres, who appeared to have been speeding, was thrown from the bike, police said. He was pronounced dead at Bayfront Medical Center, police said.
St Petersburg Times
Pinellas County

Child killed at bus stop

A 10-year-old boy died Tuesday morning after he was struck by a pickup truck at a Clermont bus stop that angry parents and neighbors say has been dangerous for years.
"It was an accident waiting to happen and something needs to be done to make this bus stop, and probably many others, safer for the kids," neighborhood resident
Marlena De Renzo said. "It's so horrible that it takes somebody to die (to get) some attention to it.” Lake County School District spokesman Chris Patton said the district is reviewing the specifics of the accident and the bus stop. He had not heard of specific complaints about the bus stop. "The safety of students at bus stops is something we take very seriously," Patton said. The district tries its best
to teach students, parents, bus drivers and others about bus stop safety. "The missing part of this equation is motorists," Patton said. The Florida Highway Patrol said Anthony Moore was struck shortly before 8 a.m. on the corner of Lake Minneola Shores Road and Oklahoma Street, reportedly within sight of his home. The Minneola Elementary School student was taken to South Lake Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Neighbors and family members at the scene of the accident Tuesday morning said the bus had its red lights flashing when the pickup truck struck Anthony. The driver, Mario Albert Saucedo, 39, of Clermont, was taken into custody for driving without a license, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Other charges may be pending. Saucedo was wearing his seatbelt and was not impaired at the time of the accident, the FHP said. Lake County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Vachon said Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials Tuesday put a detaining order on Saucedo. Parents and neighbors said they have been complaining about the bus stop for years. The boy’s mother, Susie Moore, said it was scary when she and her sister used it themselves as Minneola Elementary School students. “The thing is, the bus stop has been this way for about 25 years,” said Moore, adding that she and her husband both have had several near-accidents at the intersection. Neighbors and family members said they have complained about the bus stop because a steep grade behind it forces children to stand fairly close to the road, where speeders don’t slow down, even while approaching the busy intersection. There are no signs telling people they are approaching a bus stop and people just fly down the road here,” said Rusty Barron, who lives across the street from the bus stop. Barron and the boy’s uncle, Mark DeSenti, said they have both called the county numerous times to try to move the bus stop or at least get sidewalks installed.“It’s a total tragedy that could have been avoided by so many things,” DeSenti said. Adding to the danger is that children living south of Lake Minneola Shores Road (County Road 561) have to fight rush hour traffic and cross the road to get to the bus stop by 7:45 a.m. “You’ve got a busy intersection,” Moore said. “People are just flying down this road, so if you have to put two separate bus stops- one on either side of the highway so kids don’t have to cross the road- then do that. “Something has to be changed because not only did I lose my son, but the kids on the bus are part of this tragedy and the kids in his class, too."
The mood was somber Tuesday morning at Minneola Elementary, Patton said. "It's still new," Patton said of the news of the fourth-grader's death. Teachers were working with the students Tuesday but grief counselors were expected to be brought in today, Patton said. School Principal Sandra Reaves praised Anthony in this statement:
Anthony was full of life and had a bright future. His warm smile will be greatly missed by the entire school. It's a devastating time for the school. We ask
for the media's understanding when dealing with the school and family. Our thoughts,
prayers and condolences are with his family, friends and classmates." DeRenzo, who lives on the intersection, was one of the first people to call 911 after the accident. "I saw the boy fly and then heard a big screech," she said. A retired nurse, DeRenzo said she ran over to Anthony, who was lying in the middle of the
road, as did a doctor on his way to work, who stopped and attempted to give the boy CPR. Barron said he heard a boom and then a screeching tires, indicating to him that the driver hit Anthony first, before slamming on his brakes. DeRenzo said the driver of the pickup truck laid down on the ground, crying and screaming, "Oh my God, oh my God." At the scene of the accident Tuesday morning, Moore laid her son's favorite toy, a stuffed "Scooby Doo," on top of a makeshift memorial the family erected. Anthony's grandmother, Ruth Sides, said her grandson was a "total Scooby Doo fan.
"He'd sit and watch Scooby Doo over and over again, then watch it some more. He loved it," said Sides, who shares her house with Moore and her husband, plus their four children, including Anthony. When Moore got to the bus stop she said she saw her son lying in the middle of the road. He was not wearing his glasses and she searched in vain at the crash site to find them for him. Tuesday's bus stop crash
marked the second in less than a week in Lake County. On the morning of May 5, a 9-
year-old Leesburg boy was .• struck by a 2008-blue Jeep driven by Savannah Elliott, 25, of Fruitland Park, as he waited for his bus at Oak Terrace Drive and Lee Street, Leesburg police said. The boy was crossing the road to board a school bus, police
said. He was taken to Leesburg Regional Medical Center with non -life-threatening injuries, police said.
Daily Commercial
Lake County

Teen bicyclist struck, killed

Tyler Allen Martin died on way to hospital; driver not expected to be charged. A local 18-year-old died Wednesday after he was stuck by an oil tanker truck on County
Road 214, according to St. Johns County Sheriff's Office investigators. Tyler Allen Martin was riding his bicycle southbound on Ryan Road around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday,
according to a St. Johns County Sheriff's Office report. A Coomes Oil Co. tanker driving westbound on C.R. 214 struck Martin as he crossed through The intersection of Ryan Road and C.R. 214, the report said. St. Johns County Fire Rescue
personnel treated Martin at the scene, but he died on the way to a local hospital, said Sgt. Chuck Mulligan, spokesman for the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office. Martin is the second bicyclist to die from being hit by a car on C.R. 214 in the last month. Investigators closed C.R. 214 for some time Wednesday afternoon while they assessed the accident scene. A crumpled teal bike lay mangled in the roadway.
The oil tanker was pulled off on the side of the road just yards away from the accident site.
The truck driver, also from St. Augustine, is not expected to be charged, the report said. However, the investigation is ongoing. Florida Motor Carrier Compliance officers inspected the oil truck at the scene. This is a routine procedure in accidents, Mulligan said. C.R. 214 is the extension of King Street, which runs west of Interstate 95. Bryan Wrigley, a 23-year-old University of St. Augustine student,
died a victim of a hit and run after being struck by a Ford Ranger truck near
Molasses Junction on April 13. Investigators are still looking for a young male driver of a 2001 to 2003 dark metallic blue Ford Ranger extended cab pickup truck with fog lights molded into the front bumper. There are no sidewalks or a bike lane
in that stretch of rural roadway. It is not illegal for bicyclists to ride in the roadway. However, there are raised reflectors that line the edges of C.R. 214, which cause bikers to ride closer to the center of the road.
St Augustine Record
St Johns County

1 dead in crash with TFD firetruck

A motorcyclist died Wednesday night in a crash with a Tallahassee Fire Department
truck. The crash occurred at 8:23 p.m. at the intersection of Tennessee Street and White Drive, TPD spokeswoman Officer Susan Newhouse said. The TFD truck was traveling west on Tennessee responding to a call. Newhouse said the truck had its lights and sirens on. The motorcyclist was traveling south on White when the crash occurred and died at the scene. Newhouse said the investigation was ongoing and did not have information including the identity of the motorcyclist or those in the
TFD truck. More than a dozen TPD and TFD vehicles surrounded the scene to investigate. Yellow caution tape cordoned off the westbound lanes of the intersection. TPD vehicles had blocked westbound lanes of Tennessee as far away as Ocala Road as the investigation continued.
Leon County
By Derek Redd
Democrat night editor

Teen killed in Sunday crash

A single-car crash early Sunday killed a Sneads teen and left another in a hospital in critical condition, the Florida Highway Patrol reported. Joshua Lee Jaworski, 19, was driving a 2000 Acura on U.S. 90 eastbound with 17-year-old passenger Audrionna Schae Pearson when the car went onto the shoulder, hit a culvert and became airborne. The car rolled once and came to rest on its roof. Jaworski was killed and Pearson was taken to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, FHP reported. Both teens were wearing seat belts.

1 killed in U.S. 331 wreck

A driver was attempting to make a U-turn on U.S. 331 just north of Liberty when his truck collided with an SUV, killing the passenger and critically injuring the driver about 12:15 p.m. Sunday. Katherine Helmes Bryan, 53, of DeFuniak Springs, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 2004 Ford Explorer she was riding in collided with a 1997 Ford F150 driven by Shawn Patrick Barnes, 37, of Florala, Ala.
The driver of the Explorer, Ronald Lee Bellamy, 36, also of DeFuniak Springs, was critically injured. Barnes and his passenger, Tina Loreen Barnes, 42, of F1orala, Ala., were not injured.
Panama City News Herald
Bay County

1 killed 2 injured on I-4 bridge

A Port Orange man was killed early Tuesday in a three-vehicle crash on Interstate 4,
the Florida Highway Patrol said. The crash occurred about 1:15 a.m. on the bridge over the St. Johns River. A 2001 Lexus driven by Eric Mendez, 27, of Orange City struck the rear of a 1994 Jeep driven by Brian Fitzgibbons, 38, troopers said. A third driver, Krystle McFadden, 23, of Deltona, was unable to stop and crashed her 2006 Buick van into the rear of the Lexus, troopers said. Fitzgibbons was killed. McFadden suffered serious injuries and was taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Daytona Beach. Mendez had only minor Injuries, troopers said.
-Gary Taylor
Orlando Sentinel
Orange County

2 on motorcycle killed in crash

TAMPA -Galilee Wells Howard was 69 but just started riding motorcycles a year ago. She retired from running a family well-drilling business when a new friend, Thomas Steven Colson, invited her to hop on the back of his chopper. Colson, a lifelong biker, loved having someone to share his adventures. He and Howard were parents to grown children, so they could spend the hours together as they pleased. They loved old music and nights out letting loose. Driving home from a motorcycle club about11:30 p.m. Friday, the two aboard his chopper were killed when a car turned in front of them, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Neither wore a helmet. The driver of the car left the scene, but was later found when her husband called authorities. The patrol is still investigating the crash, and no charges have been filed. Troopers said Colson, 62, of Tampa was driving his 2009 Big Dog chopper south on U.S. 41 when a 1988 Buick Park Avenue traveling north on the highway turned left onto Universal Drive south of Ruskin and into its path. Both Colson and passenger Howard were thrown onto the roadway and died at the scene. The driver of the car, identified
as Susanne Marie Meyers, 52, of Ruskin fled but was located by troopers at her home on nearby Metro Drive. Meyers' husband phoned authorities to inform them of her
whereabouts, the patrol said. He could not be reached for comment Saturday. The car she was driving sustained $2,000 worth of damage, the patrol estimated. “She ran. What a coward," said Stephanie Volkmar, Colson's daughter. “I hope justice is served."'
Records show Meyers was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence in January 2010 in Hillsborough County with a blood-alcohol level over 0.15. At 0.8 percent, a driver is considered impaired in Florida. Howard's family gathered Saturday at her home on Falkenburg Road to remember the woman they describe as caring, fun and loyal. "There are definitely bad feelings, but no one is really
angry right now because we're all still in shock," said James Pugh, Galilee Howard’s son-in-law. After Howard's husband died in 2001, the business they owned together, H&H Well Drilling, was passed onto their son, David. Howard kept busy spending
time with her grandchildren, gardening and riding with Colson. "She liked being out, she enjoyed people and having a good time," Pugh said. Faith was also a big part of
Howard’s life. She was a fan of television evangelists and attended services at Landmark Baptist Church in Seffner. Troopers found a small paper with an image of
Jesus on it in her belongings. Colson, a divorced father of two, worked part time as a mechanic after retiring from a career with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. He went by the name Steve, and his children were his life, said his daughter. His next biggest love was his bike. "He loved his chopper,” Volkmar
said. "It was his baby. When he rode, he felt free.” Volkmar couldn't bring herself to go see the mangled bike following Friday's crash. Colson's nephew had died in
a motorcycle crash not long ago, she said, adding that her father knew the risks of riding. Colson was looking forward to the birth of his first grandson this August. He already was grandfather to a 14-month-old girl. He recently taught the little
girl to point up at the sky whenever he asked, "Where are the birds?"
Now, they will teach her that grandpa is up there, too, riding with Galilee, Volkmar said.

St Petersburg Times
Pinellas County
Times Staff Writer

Friday, August 5, 2011

3 Baker sisters killed in wreck

Northwest Florida Daily News

Three sisters from Baker were killed and their grandmother was seriously injured Tuesday in a traffic accident in Wing, Ala., just north of the Florida line.
"It was the worst thing we've had in Wing in awhile," said Derek Henley, a firefighter with the Wing Volunteer Fire Department who responded to the 7 p.m. wreck. The Alabama Department of Public Safety identified the victims as Danielle Pippins, 8; Jenelle Pippins, 8; and Savannah Furr Pippins, 11. They all attended Okaloosa County schools. Danielle and Jenelle Pippins were twin sisters and had just completed second grade at Antioch Elementary School in Crestview, said Wanda Avery, the recently appointed school principal.
Avery said her staff notified the school's teachers about the accident using the school's phone tree. "It's a very sad situation. We're all still in shock," she said.
Avery said the school is "open to offer help to the family in any way we can."
Savannah Furr Pippins had just completed sixth grade at Shoal River Middle School in Crestview, Principal Bob Jones said. "You knew who she was because you'd see her smiling so much," he said. Shoal River educators also were grieving.
"It's just been a very, very tough day for us,'' Jones said. The girls ' grandmother, Dianne Poire', 54, of Sarasota, was driving when the accident occurred
at the intersection of Alabama County Route 4 and Alabama State Route 137. She was taken by helicopter to Baptist Hospital in Pensacola, according to the Department of Public Safety's news release. She was listed in critical condition Wednesday.
Henley said two young women who he believed were returning to Birmingham, Ala., from a beach vacation on Route 4 ran a stop sign at the intersection of Route 137 and hit the Ford Tempo station wagon occupied by Poire' and the three girls. The impact of the T-bone collision "crushed that little station wagon like a bug," Henley said.
The Department of Public Safety identified Christine Harris as the driver or the 2010Toyota Corolla that ran into the Tempo. Harris was taken to a local hospital and treated for "non-life-threatening injuries," the news release said. Krista Hutchins of Wing said several residents rushed to the scene to try to help the victims.
She identified four of the good Samaritans as James Hooker, Greg Ross, Chet Ross and Barbara Jordan. "They pulled the little girls out and tried to get the lady out," Hutchins said. "Barbara and the others checked the girls' pulses, and when they realized they were gone they covered them and prayed for them." David Anderson, chief
deputy with the Covington County. Ala., Sheriff's Office said the residents "did everything they could" to help. "That's a good community down there. Those folks
are good to volunteer," he said. Henley, the firefighter, confirmed the children
were killed on impact and the grandmother had to be extricated from the vehicle.
The girls are survived by their mother and stepfather, Jenny and Jim Higdon of
Crestview, and their father, Eric Pippins of Crestview, according to an obituary
from Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home.

Dally News Staff Writer Katie Tammen contributed to this report.

Northwest Florida Daily News
Okaloosa County

1 dead in motorcycle crash

The pedestrian was hit by a motorcyclist with a long history of traffic violations.
SPRING HILL- A Spring Hill motorcyclist with three DUI charges on his driving record hit and killed a female pedestrian Thursday morning when he sped through a red light on Spring Hill Drive, authorities say. Investigators had not been able to identify the woman as of Thursday evening. They said she was carrying no identification
and that no family members had come forward. They asked the public for assistance. The woman was the 34th pedestrian killed this year in the Tampa Bay area.
The woman whom authorities described as elderly, had been walking south in a crosswalk on Spring Hill Drive, near the Suncoast Crossing shopping center, about 10:15 a.m. when, investigators said, she stepped into the path of the westbound motorcyclist, who witnesses say was driving much faster than the 40 mph speed limit. She died at the scene.
The motorcyclist was identified as James Paul Conaty, 30, of Spring Hill. He sustained serious injuries and was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Conaty, who was wearing a helmet, was riding a 2007 Suzuki motorcycle, according to Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Steve Gaskins. Authorities will wait for results from Conaty's toxicology report before filing any charges, Gaskins said.
Conaty has a lengthy history of traffic violations, records show, including three charges of driving under the influence- one with an injury and two with serious bodily injuries to others. In the most serious case, in Tampa in 1999, Conaty served 2 1/2 years in prison and was order to pay $510,500 in restitution for a DUI with serious bodily injury. His blood alcohol content was .205, more than double the level at which authorities consider someone to be under the influence. He was
18 at the time. In Hernando County, Conaty has multiple traffic tickets for speeding and careless driving and one count of fleeing a law enforcement officer. He had
been given until Aug. 8 to complete driving school for a charge of passing in a no-passing zone. His license has been suspended in the past but was valid at the
time of Thursday's accident. Conaty also has a lengthy criminal record. He has been
arrested 20 times in Florida and has been convicted of burglary, battery and threatening a witness. Rebecca Torres of Spring Hill was one of the witnesses to Thursday's fatality who said Conaty was speeding.
"He was not going the speed limit at all" said Torres. "I saw her, and then I didn't see her. It was like a second." Terry Jacobson of Wesley Chapel, who was cutting the lawn in front of a McDonald's restaurant near the intersection, described the crash scene as gruesome.
"That," he said, "was one of the worst things I've ever seen in my life."

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Melvin Backman can be reached at mbackman@sptimes .com or (352)754-6114.
St Petersburg Times
Hernando Edition

To help The Florida Highway Patrol is seeking help to identify the woman killed
Thursday on Spring Hill Drive. Anyone with information is asked to call (813) 631-