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Driver guilty in accident that killed bicyclist in Tampa


Driver guilty in accident that killed bicyclist

Nearly three years after a car going more than 90 mph struck and killed a bicyclist near the University of South Florida's Riverfront Park, a jury has convicted the driver of vehicular homicide.

Lenoy Angel Rivera, 21, is scheduled to be sentenced March 7 for the felony conviction. He was also found guilty of driving with a suspended license, a misdemeanor.

Authorities say Rivera appeared to be racing another car on Feb. 13, 2011, as they traveled east on Fletcher Avenue, with both vehicles speeding, tailgating and changing lanes.

Rivera lost control and struck cyclist Robert Niedbalec, 52, a Temple Terrace veterinarian and black-belt instructor, who was riding in a bicycle lane. Niedbalec died at the scene.

The driver of the second car, Armando Perez Jr., 37, was charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident with a death. He pleaded not guilty, and his case has not gone to trial.


Fire at mobile home sends 1 to hospital

A fire that broke out Monday morning in a mobile home sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries, according to Hillsborough County fire officials.

The fire was reported about 10:18 a.m. at 3713 Bruton Road, authorities said. When firefighters arrived, they found the home engulfed in flames.

A lack of fire hydrants in the area prompted crews to shuttle water to the mobile home from tanker trucks, officials said. The blaze was quickly extinguished.

One person was hospitalized with injuries that officials described as minor.

The home's residents declined housing assistance from the American Red Cross.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.


Motorist dies after slamming into tree

A man died late Sunday after he drove off a road and hit a tree, according to Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies.

Paul A. Cardeau, 70, was heading north on Vilmot Greens Drive just after 11 p.m. in a Toyota Prius when he veered left onto the west shoulder, deputies said. Traveling at about 25 to 30 mph, Cardeau slammed into a tree.

He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he died.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, but early indications suggested that Cardeau suffered a medical issue behind the wheel, deputies said.

Times staff

Driver guilty in accident that killed bicyclist in Tampa 02/03/14 [Last modified: Monday, February 3, 2014 10:47pm]
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