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Tampa Bay briefs

By Times staff reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published September 14, 2001


Wrong-way driver dies in head-on collision

Wrong-way driver dies in head-on collision

TAMPA -- A head-on collision Thursday afternoon on Memorial Highway left one motorist dead and another injured.

Police said Karen Kizer, 42, of 107 Sixth St. NW, Ruskin, was driving the wrong way in the northbound lanes of Memorial Highway near Eisenhower Boulevard when she struck a sport utility vehicle driven by Wanda Parfitt, 50, of Tampa, about 2:40 p.m.

Parfitt was driving north on Memorial. She was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital, where she was listed in good condition Thursday night.

Police said Kizer died at the scene. Tampa police spokeswoman Katie Hughes said authorities will conduct toxicology tests to determine if alcohol played a role in the accident.

Man finds dead body in car in his driveway

TAMPA -- The owner of a house at 4610 N Boulevard discovered a body in a car in his driveway about 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon.

Police spokeswoman Katie Hughes said the homeowner knew the man in the car, said by police to be 29 years old. Police would not release his name, or any other information about him.

Police also would not release the name of the home's owner.

An autopsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death.

Police are classifying the case as an unexplained death.

Police: Motorcyclist dies trying to pass friend

TAMPA -- Two friends had been celebrating a birthday with alcohol, police said, when one of them tried to race past the other on his motorcycle and crashed.

The accident Thursday at 2 a.m. claimed the life of Harold M. Bautista, 47, of 12415 Dawn Vista Drive in Riverview, said Tampa police spokeswoman Katie Hughes.

Bautista and friend Andy D. Weaver, 33, were heading south on 22nd Street at Marconi Street on separate motorcycles when Bautista tried to pass his friend by riding onto the sidewalk, Hughes said.

"As he re-entered the street, he lost control and slid into the path of an oncoming Honda" that was headed north on 22nd Street, she said.

Bautista and his motorcycle became trapped under the Honda, driven by Charles Hyppa, 37, Hughes said. Bautista was pronounced dead at the scene.

Hughes said there were no charges at this time, pending a review by the state attorney's office and blood tests.

Traffic accident injures Sickles High student

ODESSA -- A traffic accident Thursday morning left a Sickles High School student seriously injured, authorities said.

Jason Ackerman, 16304 Rocky Pond Drive, was traveling north at about 60 mph on Tobacco Road at 6:40 a.m. when he lost control of his 2000 Pontiac Grand Am. The car went into a slide and struck a wooden fence, then the passenger side hit a tree, officials said.

Ackerman, who was not wearing a seat belt, sustained head and spine injuries. He was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital where he was listed in serious but stable condition Thursday, said Debbie Carter, sheriff's spokeswoman.

Boy with scooter struck, killed on East Lake Road

EAST LAKE -- A 13-year-old boy with a motorized scooter was killed Thursday afternoon when he was struck by a car on East Lake Road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Trooper C. Hathcox said a witness told him the motorist ran a red light at the intersection of Village Center Drive/Ridgemoor Boulevard and struck the boy.

Hathcox said he did not know whether the boy was riding the scooter or walking beside it. Troopers did not release the name of the boy.

Hathcox said the driver, whose name was not released Thursday, was headed south on East Lake Road in the far right lane when the red Mitsubishi struck the boy.

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