Truck strikes, kills man in wheelchair
The roadway was still dark just after 7 a.m. Friday as Raymond T. Hook Jr. crossed U.S. 19 in his motorized wheelchair. He was entering the center southbound lane, about 100 feet north of Beach Boulevard, when he came into the path of a Ford pickup driven by Lorri Bocik Vuozzo of Hudson, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. Vuozzo didn't see Hook in time to swerve, the report states. Her truck hit him, sending debris into the path of another Ford pickup that was in the outside lane, driven by Patrick D. Hanlon of Watertown, N.Y., who tried to swerve into the center lane but still hit the wreckage. Hook of Hudson died from his injuries at the crash scene. He was 65 years old. The Highway Patrol is investigating to determine whether any charges will be filed. It was unclear where Hook was going when the accident happened. Hook once lived in the Hudson Hollow mobile home park on Old Dixie Highway, but he moved out about a year ago, said park manager Pat Shimkus. She said he always had trouble with his legs and lived in a home with a ramp by the front door. Hook was always friendly and would wave to her in the morning as he passed on his tricycle, headed for nearby Hudson Beach, where he would lie out in the sun for hours. He would return in the evening with dark skin and a big smile. "Anytime the sun was shining," she said, "he was sitting down there."
NEW PORT RICHEY
Event at farm will help fight cancer
The Ponies Preventing Breast Cancer event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at Pony Tails Farm, 9645 Sunbeam Drive, New Port Richey. The event will include pony rides, a petting zoo and a bounce house. Refreshments will be available. Admission is $5 per child; adults are free. All of the proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. (727) 207-4250.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Program aims to help smokers quit
The Pasco County Health Department will host a free program for people who would like to quit smoking or other tobacco use. The class will run from 3 to 5:30 p.m. March 26 at the Health Department, 10841 Little Road. The program will include access to free nicotine replacement therapies, including patches, lozenges or gums. The program is sponsored by the Florida Department of Health, in conjunction with the Gulfcoast North Area Health Education Center. For information on other programs, call (813) 929-1000 or visit www.gnahec.org.