snowbird found dead in canal behind home
The bar called Richard John Thomas a ride home Tuesday night. He arrived home, but somehow the 63-year-old seasonal resident from Canada ended up in the canal behind his house on Sea Ranch Drive. His body was found Wednesday afternoon, and authorities released his identity Thursday. Foul play is not suspected, said Pasco Sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll. He did not disclose the bar where Thomas had been drinking that evening, but said his car was found there Wednesday. An autopsy was performed Thursday, but the cause of death is pending toxicology tests, which can take several weeks. Neighbor Denise Crawford, 44, said Thomas spent the past few winters in Hudson. He was supposed to leave Saturday to go home to Canada, she said. Her son, Dylan Crawford, said Thomas loved hockey and his motorcycle. Susan Begin, who found Thomas' body, said it appeared as though Thomas was trying to pull himself out of the water. After he died, his arm still clung to the dock.
Five hospitalized after collision
The southbound lanes of U.S. 41 were closed during rush hour Thursday evening because of a two-car crash that sent five people to the hospital. A black Hyundai sedan, headed east on Lake Patience Road, ran the stop sign at U.S. 41, and drove into the path of a tan SUV about 5:22 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, spokesman of the Florida Highway Patrol. There were two people in the sedan and three in the SUV, Gaskins said. Two people were flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. The three others were transported to St. Joseph's by ambulance. An hour after the crash, the southbound lanes of U.S. 41 began reopening.
Physicals available for young athletes
High school student athletes can get $10 physicals Saturday at The Florida Joint Care Institute, with proceeds going to Pasco schools' athletic departments. Primary care physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, allied health professionals and a notary will be at the institute, 2165 Little Road, just south of Mitchell High School, for the physicals. Students from the following schools may come during the appointed time:
• 8 to 9 a.m.: Mitchell, Fivay and Hudson high schools.
• 9 to 10 a.m.: Sunlake and Land O'Lakes high schools.
• 10 to 11 a.m.: Gulf, Pasco and Anclote high schools.
• 11 a.m. to noon: Ridgewood and River Ridge high schools.
For information, call (727) 372-6637.
Jeanie Germain, a candidate for Dade City Commission, is an officer at Premium Title Co. and serves as chair for Habitat for Humanity of East and Central Pasco. An article Wednesday misstated the name of the title company and did not give her current position on Habitat's board.