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    Motorcyclist killed on I-275 after smashing into vehicle

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 9, 2002

    TAMPA -- A 33-year-old motorcyclist died Saturday in a three-vehicle accident on Interstate 275, forcing authorities to close the highway for about four hours.

    Miguel Bravo of Tampa was headed north just north of Interstate 4 about 10:40 p.m. when he hit the back of a car and was thrown off his 2001 Honda motorcycle, officials said. The car, driven by Eric James Ryan, smashed into the center wall and a 1998 Suzuki motorcycle approaching from behind struck the vehicle.

    The second motorcyclist, Leonardo Fernandez, 38, of 3020 W Tampa Bay Blvd., suffered injuries and was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital. Ryan, 22, of 8011 Revels Road was also injured.

    Hospital officials said Sunday both were released.

    The accident forced the Florida Highway Patrol to close northbound I-275 and the exit ramp from I-4 west to I-275 north. The FHP reopened the area at 3 a.m.

    Authorities said both motorcyclists were speeding at the time of the crash. The investigation was continuing and charges were pending.

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