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    Driver is charged in fatal accident

    A blood test indicates a motorcyclist was impaired when he pulled in front of another motorcycle, causing a deadly wreck, officials say.

    By CHRIS TISCH, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published February 1, 2003


    LARGO -- An Indian Rocks Beach man has been charged with manslaughter in a November motorcycle crash that killed a Seminole woman.

    Largo police arrested James Adamsons, 41, Friday morning and booked him into Pinellas County Jail, where he remained Friday evening in lieu of $10,000 bail.

    Police say Adamsons caused a Nov. 11 crash that killed Ruth Ann Herrier, 58. A blood test showed Adamsons' blood-alcohol level to be 0.09, slightly above the level at which Florida law presumes impairment.

    Adamsons was driving a 2000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle on Walsingham Road and was stopped at a traffic light at Indian Rocks Road about 7 p.m. that day.

    He made a left turn and struck a 2000 Honda three-wheel motorcycle heading west on Walsingham Road, police said.

    A witness behind Adamsons at the intersection told police he saw Adamsons inching his motorcycle forward toward oncoming traffic. The witness became fearful he would cause an accident.

    The witness said the light was green, but there was not a green arrow, meaning Adamsons had to yield to oncoming traffic, police said.

    The three-wheel bike was driven by Billy Worth of Clearwater. Herrier, his passenger, was ejected. She suffered head injuries and died the next morning at Bayfront Medical Center.

    No one involved in the crash was wearing a helmet, police said.

    A local resident for 40 years, Herrier was a member of the Gold Wing Motor Club and participated in local car shows. She worked as an administrative assistant. She was survived by a daughter, a son and five granddaughters.

    Investigators had smelled alcohol on Adamsons' breath, but had to wait for blood tests to determine whether his alcohol level was above 0.08. After blood test results came back, police obtained a capias, which is similar to a warrant, through the State Attorney's Office.

    -- Chris Tisch can be reached at 445-4156 or tisch@sptimes.com .

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