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Motorcyclist dies in crash

The 19-year-old and his passenger, who is in critical condition, ran a red light and struck a bread truck, according to police.

By BRADY DENNIS

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 17, 2001


LAND O'LAKES -- Tyler Zirgibel ate Easter dinner with his mother and stepfather.

He helped out with an Easter egg hunt for his two young stepsisters -- Erynn, 10 and Katie, 12. He watched his 5-year-old stepbrother, Hunter, learn to ride a bike.

Then, despite his mother's concern, he and a friend hopped on Zirgibel's 1993 Suzuki motorcycle and headed to Sarasota, where they were planning to do some work with a cable company.

It is work Zirgibel, 19, never will get to do.

Zirgibel of 22740 Penny Loop in Land O'Lakes died Monday when he ran a red light and slammed his motorcycle into a Southern Bakeries bread truck at U.S. 301 and 17th Street in Sarasota, said police department spokesman Jay Frank.

His passenger, Duane Asher, 23, of 15420 Livingston Ave. No. 412 in Lutz, was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg. He was listed in critical condition Monday.

"He was our perfect son," said Brian Perkins, Zirgibel's stepfather. "Everybody liked him. He was a very likable boy. It's a terrible shock."

Reports show Zirgibel was driving north on U.S. 301 at 75 mph in a 45 mph zone. The bread truck, driven by Kenneth Warber of Bradenton, was headed south and attempted to make a left turn onto 17th Street.

Zirgibel ran a red light and slammed into the truck, Frank said.

Zirgibel, a 2000 graduate of Land O'Lakes High School, was a student at Tampa Technical Institute, his stepfather said. He also was a member of First Baptist Church in Lutz.

"He was very courteous; he was very responsible," Perkins said. "All of (his siblings) looked up to him."

Funeral arrangements will be handled by Loyless Funeral Home in Land O'Lakes.

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