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Crash survivor dies in 2nd accident
Less than a year ago, Pablo Garcia III was in a coma after a wreck.
By HELEN ANNE TRAVIS, Times Staff Writer
Published September 6, 2007
Less than a year ago, Pablo Garcia III was in a coma for 11 days after a wreck on U.S. 41.
LAND O'LAKES - Less than nine months after surviving an early morning accident that put him in a coma for 11 days, 21-year-old Pablo Garcia III died Wednesday morning when his vehicle overturned in an undeveloped section of the Connerton development.
Garcia was driving home alone to Lake Padgett Estates using Pleasant Plains Parkway as a shortcut, his father said Wednesday. The empty road is technically closed to traffic, but there are no barricades or roadblocks to stop drivers.
Garcia died when he lost control of his vehicle after going through a roundabout. He was not wearing a seat belt, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Construction workers arriving for their shift found Garcia's overturned 1991 Acura at 7 a.m. Wednesday, six hours after the accident.
In December, Garcia was traveling south on U.S. 41 when a pickup cut in front of him and sent his car off the road. The FHP said Garcia was not at fault. He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg with serious injuries.
"He was lucky to survive," Garcia's father, Pablo Garcia II, said.
His son had to be taught how to walk, eat and speak again. He was still undergoing treatment with his family doctor, who called his home Wednesday afternoon to confirm Garcia's next appointment.
Garcia's father said the young man was very angry after the first accident and the months of extensive therapy. He was easily enraged, so he was seeing the doctor for help with anger management.
Pasco sheriff's deputies arrested Garcia in July and charged him with repeatedly punching his girlfriend in the face. Garcia's father attributes the incident to his son's easy rage after the accident.
The next month, Garcia approached his family about his anger.
"He came to us and said, 'I need some help, please get me some help,' " his father said.
His doctor prescribed Garcia medications to control his anger.
"He was just about back to normal."
According to state records, Garcia was arrested for the first time the day after his 16th birthday. Since then, Garcia had been arrested five more times; all but one of the charges were for misdemeanor battery.
Garcia's father said his son got mixed in with a bad crowd when he was younger.
"Even though he was the way he was," his father said, "if he saw someone with a misfortune, the last dollar he had in his pocket he would give to that person."