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Two die after crashing into tree

The Mustang raced past, then veered off the road and hit an oak, a witness says.

By NICOLE BARDO-COLON
Published June 10, 2007


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CLEARWATER - Caprice Mueller was outside working on her son's car Saturday when the Ford Mustang raced past.

It vanished around a bend on Stewart Boulevard in Morningside Estates. It returned moments later, veered off the road and smashed into an oak tree, fatally injuring both people inside.

"My son and I went out and cut the strap of the passenger's seat belt and supported his head until help arrived, " Mueller said. "When they got there, I believe he was alive."

Mueller said she spoke to the man but he did not respond. She said there was no movement and he had labored breathing.

Clearwater police said the driver of the Mustang died on impact. The passenger died moments later, shortly before 8 p.m.

Their identities were not released Saturday night.

The men were thought to be in their 30s police said, but witnesses said they appeared to be in their teens or early 20s.

Residents of the neighborhood were upset Saturday evening about the accident and said they need traffic calming there.

Neighbors said they have long been trying to get traffic calming devices, such as speed bumps, on the street. Speeders are frequent, they said.

The neighborhood had been slated for traffic calming in 2000, said Mary McGarvey, president of the Morningside-Meadows Homeowners Association.

"Here it is 2007, and nothing has changed, " she said. "This is not our first fatality."

McGarvey said it is common for cars to speed through the area and another resident agreed.

"We've asked, we've asked, we've asked, " said Gerry Busch, a Morningside Estates resident of 18 years. "Unfortunately, two men are dead. This is unconscionable."

Busch said he heard the crash from two blocks away.

"It sounded like somebody hit a tree, and that's exactly what happened, " he said. "You have kids walking down the street. What's going to happen next time?"

Nicole Bardo-Colon can be reached at 893-8779 or nbardo-colon@sptimes.com.

[Last modified June 10, 2007, 00:24:00]


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