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    Pedestrian killed on U.S. 19 in Tarpon

    Police are investigating the death of a man who was struck by a sport utility vehicle at 1:35 a.m. Saturday.

    By ED QUIOCO, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 11, 2002

    TARPON SPRINGS -- A 28-year-old New Port Richey resident was killed during the weekend after he was struck by a sport utility vehicle as he walked along on a dark stretch of U.S. 19 N.

    Michael S. Robinson, of 4352 Otter Way, was heading north on the highway just south of Beckett Way near the Pasco County line at 1:35 a.m. Saturday, according to Tarpon Springs police.

    Robinson was hit by a northbound 2000 Jeep Cherokee Laredo driven by Michael N. Lygnos, 43, of Clearwater.

    Investigators spoke with witnesses and family members Monday, and were trying to put together a timeline for that night, said Tarpon police Sgt. Jeffrey Young. No charges have been filed in the accident, and the investigation was ongoing.

    "Blood tests will be done on both to determine blood-alcohol content," Young said.

    Robinson was a 1993 graduate of Tarpon Springs High School, having moved to the city two years earlier from Clinton, Miss.

    "When you go through life, they say it's rare when you actually meet someone who is defined as a true friend," said his roommate and longtime friend Tony Babbino, 27. "Mike definitely fit the description of a true friend. He touched the lives of so many people, and many people loved him."

    Robinson lifted weights four to five nights a week and worked as an installer for Brenzo & Taylor Air Conditioning in Oldsmar, Babbino said. He was a quick learner who was good at fixing things.

    "He was the type of person who, if he tried something once, he would be better than the person who showed him how to do it," Babbino said.

    He also had a good sense of humor.

    "Mike was the biggest kidder I knew and everybody knows that," Babbino said. "He was always laughing. He was always joking. He was the typical class clown."

    Robinson and Babbino were hanging out with two other friends at a coffee shop in downtown Tarpon Springs that night when Robinson said he was going to walk home, Babbino said.

    "We thought that, being the kidder, that he was just joking," Babbino said. "Apparently he wasn't."

    Robinson is survived by his mother, Dorothy Morgan, Clinton, Miss.; his father, Lindsay Robinson, Hendersonville, N.C.; two brothers, Joshua Howard and Lindsay Robinson III, both of Clinton; a sister, Pamela Robinson, Nashville, Tenn.; and his grandfather, Fred McCall, Fort Walton Beach.

    -- Ed Quioco can be reached at (727) 445-4183 or Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report.

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