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Teenager injured after flipping Honda

The 17-year-old tried to pass a truck and lost control of his vehicle when another car was in the way.

[Times photo: Maurice Rivenbark]
Rescue workers take Richard Jacquez, 17, of Spring Hill to a Bayflite helicopter after he was ejected from the 1995 Honda he was driving west on Elgin Boulevard at the Village Van Gogh subdivision in Spring Hill.

© St. Petersburg Times
published September 28, 2002

SPRING HILL -- Richard Thomas Jacquez, 17, was heading west on Elgin Boulevard Friday, bound to pick up his girlfriend at Central High School.

He was speeding at the time, Hernando County sheriff's deputies say, and he lost control of the car trying to pass a truck.

Jacquez smashed his white 1995 Honda Accord into a concrete block wall surrounding the Village Van Gogh development, overturned, and was ejected from the passenger side window.

Investigators said Jacquez, who they think was not wearing a seat belt, suffered head injuries and cuts on his body.

He was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. A report on his status was not immediately available from Bayfront.

Hernando County Sheriff's Office Deputy Steve Klapka said that when Jacquez attempted to pass the truck, he found that his path was blocked by another car, and he veered off the road after quickly trying to return to his lane.

"He came flying around the corner, jammed on the brakes to avoid the truck in front of him and slammed into the wall," said Donna Kalomeres, 38, who lives on Enchantment Drive behind Elgin and witnessed the accident. "Then the car flipped. It was loud, like an explosion."

The car's windows were blown out and its body crushed. The Accord was traveling fast enough to force grass growing along the road's edge between its tires and rims.

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