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April death brings late traffic ticket

ST. PETE BEACH — The driver of a van that ran off Blind Pass Road in April and killed a woman has been charged with careless driving.

The traffic citation carries a fine of $141 to $500 and up to 120 hours of community service.

Aaron Scott Rimar was driving his van on Blind Pass Road just before noon April 10 when he veered onto the sidewalk in front of Fortunato's Italian Pizzeria and struck Seth and Heather Whalley, who were visiting from North Carolina. Heather Whalley, 33, died two days later.

"It certainly seems woefully inadequate," said Seth Whalley, a 34-year-old chemist who lives in Massachusetts with the couple's three children. "I don't know what else to say about it. I guess I'm feeling speechless."

Rimar has been issued 21 traffic citations in Pinellas County, including speeding, running a stop sign and driving on the wrong side of a divided highway.

St. Pete Beach police investigator Robert Micklitsch said he gave Rimar the ticket Monday after he learned last week that State Attorney Bernie McCabe would not file criminal charges against Rimar.

Rimar had several prescription drugs in his system, prosecutors say, but toxicology tests showed they were at "therapeutic levels."

Since he was not impaired and he wasn't driving recklessly before the accident occurred, prosecutors said they did not have a criminal case against Rimar.

Rimar, 35, said Tuesday he could not comment on the case at the request of his attorney.

April death brings late traffic ticket 11/11/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 14, 2008 9:19pm]
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