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Bicyclist collides with van in Clearwater, dies of injuries


Cyclist collides with van; later dies of injuries

A bicyclist died Tuesday morning after he was struck by a van, police said. Willie P. Nelson, 52, of Clearwater was hit at Martin Luther King Drive and Lasalle Street by a GMC van about 9:45 a.m., police said. He was pronounced dead at Morton Plant Hospital about 10:20 a.m. Police say a preliminary investigation shows Nelson failed to yield to the van at the intersection. Nelson hit the van head-on. Nelson was not wearing a helmet, and the bike was equipped with a motorized kit. Investigators are trying to determine if the bike motor contributed to the crash. Police say the van's driver, Lorenzo Hearns, 47, of Largo was cited for driving with a suspended license. Hearns was not cited for the crash because he had the right of way, police said.

Island secessionist group to meet

The Islands Independence Initiative, a group that's looking into whether Clearwater Beach, Island Estates and Sand Key should secede from Clearwater, will hold an informational meeting Thursday night at a Sand Key condominium tower. The nonprofit group is raising money for a $90,000 economic feasibility study that state legislators have said is necessary before lawmakers will consider taking action on the issue. The group recently raised more than $30,000 for the study in about a month. It is continuing its fundraising efforts. Thursday's meeting is at 7 p.m. at the Meridian, 1200 Gulf Blvd.

Solidarity soup supper Saturday

The Pinellas Support Committee of the National Farm Worker Ministry will host a soup supper to gather in solidarity with farmworkers at 5 p.m. Saturday at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 3200 N McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Keynote speaker will be Charles McKenzie, the Florida coordinator of the Rainbow-PUSH Coalition and second vice president of the St. Petersburg NAACP. The public is invited to attend. Homemade lentil soup and bread will be served. For information, e-mail or call Shirley James, (727) 733-5718.

Safety Harbor

Fundraiser will assist Andrew Hall

Shop for clothes and jewelry priced below cost, nibble on appetizers provided by local bistros and dance the night away. That's the plan Saturday night during a fundraiser for Andrew Hall of Safety Harbor, who suffered the loss of his left leg and other traumatic injuries in April when an out-of-control car barreled onto the sidewalk and hit him as he waited for a ride. The event will be 6 to 10 p.m. at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, 801 Main St., Safety Harbor. Advance tickets are $15 and available at Fred Astaire Dance Studio; the Safety Harbor Museum, 329 S Bayshore Blvd.; and American Legion Post 238, 900 Main St., Safety Harbor. Tickets are $20 at the door. For more information, call (727) 726-1668.

In Sports

Gibbs football feeling settled as playoffs approach, 5C

Pinellas deaths

Detailed obituaries are published in Section B.

Bicyclist collides with van in Clearwater, dies of injuries 11/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 7:41pm]
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    Local Government

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