Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Public safety

71-year-old Largo biker killed in crash loved motorcycles

LARGO — Lu Haddeman, a 71-year-old great-grandmother, was no stranger to motorcycles.

She and her ex-husband often rode together when they were married. Her youngest son got his first dirt bike when he was 8.

Haddeman, who lived in Largo, had been riding behind 75-year-old George Talcott on his blue BMW motorcycle for the past two years, including on last Sunday evening, when the two were heading south on U.S. 41 in northern Hernando County.

A 2006 Chrysler turned onto the highway from Lake Lindsey Road and crashed into their motorcycle, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Haddeman died hours later. Talcott, of Clearwater, was in critical condition on Friday at Bayonet Point Hospital.

At 10 p.m. on the day of the crash, two troopers arrived at the home of Haddeman's younger sister, Shirley Windisch, to deliver the news, leaving the family to console itself with the knowledge Haddeman had died doing what she loved.

"You couldn't tie her down," said Haddeman's son, Kevin Grider. "Motorcycles were a big part of her life."

"People always say, 'It's not going to happen to me,' " Windisch said Thursday as she held back tears. "She always said she was going to live to be 102."

Haddeman had lost loved ones to motorcycle crashes — her 23-year-old nephew, and years later, her fiance.

Haddeman's family traveled from Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota for her memorial service Friday. They stayed at her home on Queen Palms Street in Largo.

Haddeman met Talcott about two years ago at a social function. They traveled on his bike to New York City and Bike Week in Daytona Beach. In May, they rode to the Florida Keys. They had plans to ride the BMW to Waterloo, Iowa, next month.

Grider said he never asked his mother to stop riding. "You don't tell my mother something like that," he said.

Loved ones said Haddeman barely spent time at her white mobile home with yellow trim. She was a member of several groups, including the Red Hat Society, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Fraternal Order of Eagles.

"She made outgoing people seem like couch potatoes," said Mickey Haddeman, 35, her youngest son.

Sheila Miltner, Haddeman's friend, described her as the "life of the party." At a VFW convention in Jacksonville about three years ago, Haddeman plopped herself on top of a man in an electric wheelchair and took control of the chair. In the past, she made the 22-hour car ride to visit family in Waterloo.

"Lu lived life to the fullest," said another friend, Patty Depriest. "She's the type of person you don't put an age to."

Talcott is in the hospital and has undergone several surgeries, according to Haddeman's family. He doesn't know she is dead.

Miltner said the accident is a shock. "George was always very careful," she said. "He always tried to be home before dark."

The crash is under investigation, troopers said.

On Friday, Haddeman's family sifted through the items inside her Ford Taurus.

On the back of the car, a purple bumper sticker read: "Look twice — save a life. Motorcycles are everywhere."

Staff writer Laura C. Morel can be reached at (727) 893-8713 or [email protected]

Comments
Standoff ends in Lutz after man stabs woman several times

Standoff ends in Lutz after man stabs woman several times

LUTZ — A man stabbed a woman multiple times before barricading himself in a Lutz home early Tuesday morning, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.The standoff ended about three hours later with Hillsborough County Fire Rescue crews t...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Head-on crash kills three, injures two children in Zephyrhills

Head-on crash kills three, injures two children in Zephyrhills

ZEPHYRHILLS — Three people were killed and two children were seriously injured in a head-on collision that took place Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The crash took place about 7 p.m. on County Road 54, west of Chantel Drive.Elv...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Crossing guard admits to accidentally killing gopher tortoise in Dunedin

Crossing guard admits to accidentally killing gopher tortoise in Dunedin

A crossing guard turned himself in to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, saying he was the person seen on video running over a gopher tortoise at an elementary school on Saturday. Robert Dantschisch, 48, saw surveillance video from the sheriff’s o...
Published: 08/20/18
Robber wearing gas mask fires shot in ceiling of Pasco store, deputies say

Robber wearing gas mask fires shot in ceiling of Pasco store, deputies say

Deputies are searching for a man who held up a convenience store with a shotgun while wearing a gas mask, according to the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.On Friday at around 9 p.m., deputies say a man robbed the Beacon Square Grocery in Holiday. Durin...
Published: 08/20/18
Manatee youth football coach accused of dealing drugs

Manatee youth football coach accused of dealing drugs

A youth football coach in Manatee County faces drug charges following his arrest on Thursday.According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, deputies pulled over Edgard Theliar, 29, at the 3100 block of 15th Street E around 4 p.m. after he ran a re...
Published: 08/20/18
400 years later, Spanish coin is clue in mysterious death

400 years later, Spanish coin is clue in mysterious death

Before detectives found it inside a car in Colorado, before a St. Petersburg surveillance camera captured it hanging from Christie New’s neck hours before she was gravely wounded, before it was salvaged from the bottom of the ocean, police believe th...
Published: 08/20/18
400 years later, Spanish coin is clue in mysterious death

400 years later, Spanish coin is clue in mysterious death

Before detectives found it inside a car in Colorado, before a St. Petersburg surveillance camera captured it hanging from Christie New’s neck hours before she was gravely wounded, before it was salvaged from the bottom of the ocean, police believe th...
Published: 08/20/18
North Carolina fugitives, charged with shooting at cops, found and arrested in Treasure Island

North Carolina fugitives, charged with shooting at cops, found and arrested in Treasure Island

TREASURE ISLAND — Two men on the run from law enforcement in North Carolina were found hiding in Treasure Island — armed with an AR-15, a machete and a pipe bomb, deputies said — leading to a standoff with a SWAT team that ended early Sunday morning....
Published: 08/20/18
Tampa holds a birthday vigil for Lillia Raubenolt, the young girl killed on Bayshore

Tampa holds a birthday vigil for Lillia Raubenolt, the young girl killed on Bayshore

Somewhere Over the Rainbow was the first song Lillia Raubenolt’s parents sang to her as a newborn, according to her uncle, John Reisinger."They were just so happy when she was born," he said.But on May 23, while the family was visiting Tampa from Ohi...
Published: 08/19/18
Man in Spring Hill airlifted to hospital with severe electrical burns

Man in Spring Hill airlifted to hospital with severe electrical burns

A man has been airlifted to a local hospital after suffering severe electrical burns while trimming trees in Spring Hill.In a release, Pasco County Fire Rescue said the man was working on a lift and was airborne in the 18000 Block of Skinner Dr. in S...
Published: 08/19/18