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Police investigate Tampa woman's death in retention pond at International Plaza

Tampa

Pond death investigated

Police are investigating the death of a 26-year-old Tampa woman who died after driving her car into a retention pond at International Plaza.

It occurred about 3 a.m. Sunday. Susan Hwa Lim was driving through the mall's parking lot when she failed to make a curve in the road and slid down a slope into the pond, ending about 75 feet from shore, police said.

Police and firefighters arrived but were unable to reach the car. Divers soon arrived and pulled the woman from the vehicle. Lim was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital about 4:30 a.m., police said.

Tampa Bay area

Focus on health dispute

State Sen. Jack Latvala on Tuesday asked Florida's health care regulators to look into the feud that has left more than 400,000 UnitedHealthcare customers in Tampa Bay with limited access to the region's largest hospital group, BayCare Health System.

At his request, officials at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the Agency for Health Care Administration are looking into the dispute, Latvala said. He noted that there are state regulations addressing the prompt payment of medical bills, an issue in BayCare's battle with United, which also provides coverage to state Medicaid recipients. United has accused BayCare of seeking unreasonable rate increases.

Latvala, a Republican, represents a north Pinellas district heavily dominated by BayCare facilities, including the Morton Plant Mease hospitals. The contract between United and BayCare expired at midnight Monday.

St. Petersburg

Bicyclist killed by van

A Madeira Beach man died Tuesday afternoon when he was hit by a van while riding a bicycle on Duhme Road near 51st Avenue N.

David M. Pimentel, 37, was riding south about 12:25 p.m. on the sidewalk along the east shoulder of Duhme Road when he turned west and tried to cross the northbound lanes, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. At the same time, a 2004 Ford van was traveling north in the middle lane of Duhme Road.

Pimentel rode into the van's path and was hit and thrown from the bike, authorities said. He died at the scene.

The van's driver, Ettore Pensavalle, 62, of Largo, was not injured.

Holiday

Naked man faces charges

Abraham Luna did it for shock value. He said it's the best way to go into a fight: taking off his clothes.

"When two men are going to fight," he said, "the one that's naked usually wins."

Luna, who said he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2007, said he doesn't remember much from Monday night or Tuesday morning, but authorities say he went on a tear through a golf course, assaulted employees at a Holiday 7-Eleven, led deputies on a high-speed chase through oncoming traffic lanes on U.S. 19, and sideswiped a patrol cruiser before he was arrested.

Luna, of Tarpon Springs, was charged with attempted auto burglary, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, aggravated fleeing to elude, driving while license revoked, resisting without violence and violation of probation. He remains at the Land O'Lakes jail.

Police investigate Tampa woman's death in retention pond at International Plaza 11/27/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 27, 2012 11:38pm]

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