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Sumter County man charged with DUI in crash that killed four motorcyclists


Man faces dui charge in crash that killed four

The Florida Highway Patrol has arrested a Sumter County man involved in a March 15 head-on crash that killed four motorcyclists on a remote stretch of road. Paul A. Sermons, 45, of Oxford was arrested on four counts each of DUI manslaughter and vehicular homicide, plus one count of driving with a suspended license. According to the FHP, Sermons was driving a 1991 GMC pickup west on County Road 476 and tried to pass another vehicle when he crashed into two eastbound motorcycles carrying four riders. Killed instantly in the crash were William "Billy" Barker, 54, of Stuart; his passenger, Patrice Poole, 55, of Mount Dora; and John Holmes, 55, of Beverly Hills. Holmes' passenger, Patricia Beihayn, 52, of the Citrus County town of Hernando, was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Sermons remained in Sumter County Jail Thursday on $220,500 bond.


Hands to link up against oil drilling

Hands Across the Sand, a gathering against offshore oil drilling, will take place at noon June 26 at Alfred McKethan/Pine Island Park, 10800 Pine Island Drive. The local event is part of a movement for the protection of coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife and fishing industry. Those interested should arrive at the beach at 11 a.m., rain or shine. At noon, participants will form a line along the shoreline, and join hands for 15 minutes. Information is available at or e-mail


Volunteers needed for online help

Mid-Florida Community Services and the state Department of Children and Families of Circuit 5 are seeking volunteers to help food stamp customers with the online application. For details, call (352) 796-8117 or (352) 330-2162, ext. 5518.

Grants available for water projects

The Southwest Florida Water Management District offers community education grants up to $5,000 to help fund projects that provide communities an opportunity to learn about water resources. Individuals or community groups may apply. Potential projects must take place between March and July 31, 2011, and should provide education in any of the following issues: water quality, water conservation, flood protection, natural systems and watersheds. To apply, visit the website at The deadline is Aug. 20. To discuss project ideas, call Robin Grantham toll-free at 1-800-423-1476, ext. 4779.

Today's picks

American Legion hosts "Hernando Has Talent": 7 p.m., American Legion Post 99, 208 E Fort Dade Ave., Brooksville. Admission is $5 at the door. (352) 942-3919 or (352) 796-2826.

"It's Chili in June" Hernando County Republican Executive Committee event: 6 p.m., Masaryktown Community Center, 539 Lincoln Ave., Masaryktown. $5. (352) 796-2088 or (352) 796-4741.

Sumter County man charged with DUI in crash that killed four motorcyclists 06/17/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 17, 2010 11:14pm]
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