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    Tarpon man dies after stepping into traffic

    The 27-year-old pedestrian put himself in harm's way on U.S. 19 early Friday, police said.

    By AARON SHAROCKMAN, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published August 3, 2002

    CLEARWATER -- A Tarpon Springs man who walked into traffic along U.S. 19 N near Nursery Road was struck by a car and died early Friday, Clearwater police said.

    James Jerry Johnson, 27, was walking north along U.S. 19 wearing only boxer shorts when he moved east into northbound traffic and was hit by a car driven by Allen J. Sullivan at 4:45 a.m. Friday. Sullivan was driving his 1999 two-door Mitsubishi in the northbound center lane.

    Johnson was pronounced dead an hour later at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Sullivan had minor injuries and was treated at Morton Plant Hospital in Clearwater and released, police said. Sullivan will not be charged, said Clearwater police spokesman Wayne Shelor.

    "Mr. Johnson put himself in front of the car," Shelor said. "Mr. Sullivan was found to be doing everything right."

    Two lanes of northbound traffic were closed along U.S. 19, backing up traffic for three hours while police investigated, Shelor said.

    Johnson had been with friends earlier and got out of their car along U.S. 19 N, south of the accident.

    Johnson walked a few hundred yards before he was hit by Sullivan.

    Police have ordered toxicology reports to determine if Johnson was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    Johnson was scheduled for a Pinellas court date later this month in a drug trafficking case. He was arrested March 14 and accused of selling GHB, a central nervous system depressant.

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