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Driver dies in crash with garbage truck

By Times staff writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 24, 2000

ODESSA -- A Port Richey man died at the scene of a head-on collision Friday morning after he was hit by a garbage truck while driving on the wrong side of the road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Theodore Thomas Loban, 41, was driving west in the eastbound lane of State Road 54, one-tenth of a mile west of Chesapeake Drive in Odessa, at about 3:30 a.m. Friday, according to a highway patrol news release.

A highway patrol spokesman did not know why Loban was driving in the wrong lane.

A garbage truck driven by Brian John Peterson, 28, of Odessa was heading east in the eastbound lane, said the release. When the drivers saw each other, they both swerved into the westbound lane, where they collided, according to the release.

Loban's 1999 Chevrolet was totaled, and he died at the scene, according to the release.

Peterson's white GMC truck sustained about $10,000 damage, and Peterson was not injured, according to the release.

Both men were wearing seatbelts, and no charges will be filed, according to troopers.

Men charged with stealing purses

PORT RICHEY -- A man walked into a doctor's office waiting room on Thursday afternoon, told patrons to stay still and then snatched their purses, said Pasco County sheriff's deputies.

Anthony Morgan, 35, of 10287 Horizon Drive in Spring Hill and Michael Mullady, 35, of 10084 Horizon Drive in Spring Hill were charged with three counts each of robbery by sudden snatching, one count each of possession of marijuana and one count each for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputies say Morgan walked into a doctor's office at 6630 Embassy Blvd. in Port Richey around 3:30 p.m. Thursday and said, "No one move." Then he snatched two purses from patients' laps and drove away in a red Nissan pickup truck with Florida tags, witnesses told deputies.

Mullady told deputies he waited in the truck while Morgan snatched the purses, then consolidated all the wallets in one purse as the men rode away.

Fifteen minutes later, the men stole two more purses from the Hair Benders salon on Little Road. The men then drove to the Publix at Rowan Road in New Port Richey, and Morgan went inside and stole another purse, deputies said.

A few minutes later, a deputy stopped the truck at Tennessee Avenue and Grand Boulevard and detained both men until the victim from Publix arrived and identified her purse. The deputy also found 2.9 grams of marijuana, rolling papers and a scale in the men's truck.

Both men were being held late Friday at the Land O'Lakes jail on $76,000 bail each.

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