Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Public safety

19-year-old Plant City man killed in motorcycle accident

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LITHIA — A 19-year-old man was killed after a car turned left in front of his motorcycle Sunday afternoon.

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Melvin Cline Ford Jr., was riding his father's blue and white Suzuki westbound on Lithia Pinecrest Road near Allen Road about 1:30 p.m. when a Mazda Protege driving in the opposite direction turned left in front of him.

The motorcycle struck the passenger side of the car, driven by Leroy Newton Purk, 73, who said he did not see the bike before starting to turn. The collision caused Ford, who was wearing a helmet, to be thrown from the motorcycle, deputies said.

Witnesses reported seeing Ford speeding, passing cars going 80 to 100 mph just before the crash, the Sheriff's Office said.

Purk was transported to Tampa General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to deputies. Ford was taken to Lakeland Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

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