PINELLAS PARK — One man died and his nephew suffered serious injuries early Sunday when their car went out of control and wrapped itself around a pole on Park Boulevard, police said.
Michael Lloyd Booth, 36, was killed in the wreck, which took place about 3:30 a.m. at 52nd Street N.
His nephew, 21-year-old Stefan Andrew Booth, suffered fractures to both legs, his right hip, his right forearm and two fingers on his right hand, according to his family. He underwent surgery Sunday at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.
Stefan Booth was driving a 1993 Ford Escort east on Park Boulevard when he apparently lost control of the car, which rolled and struck a concrete pole roof-first, police said.
With the car wrapped almost completely around the pole, it was very difficult for rescuers to remove the men, police said.
Both men lived with Michael's parents in the Pine Haven subdivision off 58th Street N in Pinellas Park.
Michael Booth was born in California and had lived in Florida since he was 5, said his father, Lloyd E. Booth, 68.
Michael attended Pinellas Park High School, was active in Scouting and studied carpentry at the Pinellas Technical Education Centers. He had last worked in the folding department at Bay Linen and volunteered caring for dogs at the SPCA.
Michael, who was single and had no children, was a member of Northwest Church of Christ in St. Petersburg. Two years ago, he was seriously injured when a drunken driver hit him as he rode his bicycle to Wal-Mart, his family said.
"He was an easy-going guy," Lloyd Booth said of his son. "He liked music and he liked animals."
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to a memorial fund they want to establish at the church to benefit the Gulf Coast Christian School.
"We're celebrating that he's in a better place, and not that he died," Lloyd Booth said.
A graduate of Dixie Hollins High School, Stefan works as a roofer and has discussed joining the Air Force, Lloyd Booth said. But, given his injuries, his grandmother, Robbie Booth, said it will be a long time before he is moving around again.
Lloyd Booth was on his way to church Sunday morning when he tried Stefan's cell phone. Stefan had borrowed his grandfather's Ford Escort to go to Wal-Mart about 11 p.m. Saturday, but neither he nor Michael were home when the Booths got ready for church Sunday.
An officer answered the phone and told Lloyd Booth about the wreck. He was only six blocks away and drove to the scene. The impact of the crash had reduced the car to "half the normal size," he said.
Stefan was "a very lucky young man" to have survived, Lloyd Booth said. "God smiled on him, and it wasn't his time. But it was my son's time."