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Man in good condition after crash with firetruck

Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 24, 2000

OLDSMAR -- The driver whose car was rear-ended and pushed into a head-on collision with a firetruck Wednesday was in good condition Thursday afternoon at Mease Countryside Hospital.

Michael Rabada, 54, of Tampa was injured when his 1992 Ford was hit by a 1999 Ford van driven by Ruben Rossello Jr. of Tampa, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. The collision pushed Rabada's car into a Safety Harbor firetruck that was waiting to turn into a restaurant parking lot on Tampa Road at Burbank Road.

Rabada had stopped behind a car driven by Mark Young, 31, of Tampa, in one of the westbound lanes of Tampa Road. Both Young and Rabada stopped to let the truck cross the westbound lanes to respond to an emergency call.

Rossello, 30, did not see the two cars in time to avoid a collision, said Deputy Gus de Ibern. Rossello crashed into Rabada's car, which hit Young's car before crashing into the firetruck. Rabada's car was totaled and the fire truck had minor damage.

Rossello was charged with failure to use due care, de Ibern said.

Palm Harbor cleanup looking for volunteers

PALM HARBOR -- The Downtown Palm Harbor Main Street Partnership and the Neighborhood Watch are looking for volunteers to assist with Downtown Palm Harbor's first Clean Up Day on Saturday. Those wishing to assist should meet at the Masonic Lodge on Florida Avenue at 9 a.m. Bags and gloves will be provided for this event, which is expected to last one to two hours. After cleaning, volunteers will be provided free hot dogs and drinks at the Masonic Lodge picnic area.

Clearwater man accused of impersonating doctor

DUNEDIN -- A Clearwater man was arrested Thursday and accused of posing as a doctor at Mease Dunedin Hospital. Zahir Hashmi, 31, of 3241 Brushwood Court was charged with practicing medicine without a license. He was held at Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

A Dunedin woman who was a patient at the hospital on Tuesday complained that a man identifying himself as Dr. Hashmi came into her room, tapped her on the back and told her he did not hear any problems with her lungs. She was suspicious because she had met him recently at a bar.

According to deputies and hospital officials, state records show he is not a certified physician.

Drawing, mixed media taught in art classes

CLEARWATER -- A five-week session on drawing and mixed media art will begin today at the Morningside Recreation Center, 2400 Harn Blvd., Clearwater.

Participants will work with still life, models and outdoor landscapes, weather and light permitting.

No experience is necessary. Cost: $40 with a participant card; $60 without. For information, call the center at (727) 507-4065.

Van service takes patients to and from Morton Plant

CLEARWATER -- Anyone needing transportation to and from the Morton Plant Hospital campus may take advantage of a free patient van service from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

The service includes the area from Sunset Point Road south to East Bay Drive and from Clearwater Beach east to Belcher Road, and On Top of the World.

The service is run by volunteers through the Morton Plant Auxiliary. Service is first-come, first-served, and patients must be able to get in and out of the van without assistance.

To schedule a ride, call (727) 461-8548. For information on becoming a volunteer, call (727) 461-8115.

SPCA seeks volunteers and donation of items

LARGO -- The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Pinellas County is looking for donated items, funds and volunteers.

The SPCA, 9099 130th Ave. N, Largo, needs cat and dog food, rubber toys, blankets, rugs, towels, linens, litter boxes, postage stamps, film, office furniture, cleaning supplies, old newspapers and financial contributions. Training sessions for volunteers 18 or older are conducted several times a month.

For information, call Donna Morin, SPCA volunteer coordinator, at (727) 586-3591, ext. 127. For other information, call (727) 586-3591. The SPCA also has a Web site: and an e-mail address:

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