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    Teens hospitalized after vehicle hits utility pole

    By Times staff writer

    © St. Petersburg Times, published February 24, 2001

    DUNEDIN -- The three Dunedin High School students involved in a wreck during school hours Thursday were running an errand when the driver lost control and crashed into a utility pole, according to the father of one of the victims.

    Gary Schmidt said his 17-year-old son Kyle was driving north on County Road 1 with friends Matthew Cheek and Bryan Banks, both 18, when he swerved to miss a car that had stopped abruptly in front of him and slammed into a pole on the corner of Salem Court. "One of the three had his car at someone's house and they were going to go pick it up and then go have lunch," the elder Schmidt said. "He had called his mother for permission to leave school, which she gave, as did the other two boys."

    Schmidt and Cheek were taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. Banks was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Although Banks and Cheek were released from the hospital Friday, Schmidt remained at Bayfront, where his mother says he is in good condition. "He's sore," said Mary Jo Schmidt. "But we're very fortunate he will be okay." Pinellas County Sheriff officials say no citations have been have issued.

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