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Motorcycle crash causes backup on Howard Frankland

Published June 10, 2006

TAMPA — A motorcycle crash slowed traffic to a crawl on the Howard Frankland Bridge Saturday afternoon.

The male motorcycle driver was heading north near the Kennedy Boulevard exit around 2 p.m. when he stopped suddenly for traffic in front of him and was pitched from the bike, said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Allan Carter.

The driver, whose name was not released, was taken to Tampa General Hospital with serious injuries, Carter said.

His helmet, motorcycle jacket, jeans and boots sat in a pile on the east side of the road. His motorcycle lay on the west side of the road, rear tire torn from the rim.

Nikki Seiler of Sarasota was taking a friend to Tampa International Airport when she witnessed the crash. Seiler leaned against the bridge's guardrail an hour after the crash and described a bloody scene.

"It was very yucky, very yucky," she said.

Seiler said the motocyclist passed her Ford Excursion and was weaving in and out of traffic at a high speed, she said. "He rode that dotted line in between two cars riding side by side," Seiler said. "It happened so quick. What I don’t understand is how that bike didn’t hit any cars."

Troopers and Tampa police officers blocked the bridge’s two easternmost lanes.

Traffic as far back as Gandy Boulevard in Pinellas County inched by slowly. Some cars sat on the shoulder with popped hoods.

The motorcycle driver's condition was not known Saturday evening. Seiler said she hoped the best for the stranger.

"We really do pray for a miracle for him," she said.

[Last modified June 10, 2006, 18:42:46]

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