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Ambulance hits, kills pedestrian in Land O'Lakes

LAND O'LAKES — An ambulance hit and killed a man walking along the shoulder of State Road 52 in Land O'Lakes on Thursday night. The man has been identified by the county medical examiner, but his name will not be released until his relatives are notified. The only information released by the Florida Highway Patrol is that the man was 47 and from Hudson.

The ambulance is from a private company called American Medical Response. The driver was Arthur Gasparrini, 66, of Hudson and the passenger was Shaun Caravona, 27, of New Port Richey. They were returning from a medical transport just after 10 p.m. and drove west on SR 52.

Just east of Ehren Cutoff, a man walked out in front of the ambulance and was struck by the passenger side mirror, they said. Gasparrini and Caravona stopped and gave the man emergency care. He was flown to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, but died about 4 a.m. Friday.

According to state records, Gasparrini is a licensed EMT in Florida but Caravona is not.

Pasco County Fire Rescue Chief Mike Ciccarello said private ambulances in Pasco County transport patients, such as from a nursing home to a hospital. They rarely get called to emergencies, except in the case of disasters. The company would not comment on the accident, but did issue a statement.

"We are devastated by the tragic accident that occurred last night in Land O'Lakes, and our hearts go out to the family of the pedestrian who died," Deborah Hileman, spokeswoman for American Medical Response, said Friday.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins, spokesman for the Florida Highway Patrol, said no charges will be filed in this case. Neither Gasparrini nor Caravona were injured in the incident.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (813) 909-4609.

Ambulance hits, kills pedestrian in Land O'Lakes 06/20/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 24, 2008 11:25am]
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