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7-year-old struck by van a day after his birthday lies in coma

By JOUNICE L. NEALY and ALICIA CALDWELL

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 13, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- Barry Glover asked his big sister if he could go to the store on Sunday. She told him no.

But 7-year-old Barry, eager to spend his birthday money, went anyway, family members said. He put on his inline skates and headed down the street. He was struck by a van while trying to cross Fifth Avenue N.

Barry is now in a coma at All Children's Hospital, according to his stepfather, William Hunter. He also has brain damage and a broken right femur, Hunter said.

He said Barry should not have disobeyed his sister, especially since he was strict about where his stepson could play -- in the yard or wherever he could see him, but not in the street.

"He absolutely knows better," Hunter said. "Barry had no business being up there, but God bless his soul ... he's a good boy. He's a strong boy. He's an absolute joy to be around. I hope he comes out like the old Barry."

Barry, whose birthday was Saturday, is on his way to second grade at Melrose Elementary School, Hunter said. He loves baseball, and he likes to ride his bicycle and wrestle with Hunter. And, of course, he loves inline skating. His mother, Sheri Joiner-Hunter, taught him.

The accident happened in the 2700 block of Fifth Avenue N, as Barry attempted to cross Fifth Avenue shortly after noon Sunday, said city police spokesman Dan Bates.

Barry was struck by a van driven by Bryan Shuerger, 38, of 1347 14th St. N, St. Petersburg, Bates said. The child was not wearing protective headgear. Shuerger's view was obstructed by other cars, Bates said, and he could not see the boy until it was too late to stop.

Bates said no charges had been filed.

Hunter said they had received flowers from Shuerger's family.

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