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Bicyclist dies after being dragged underneath car in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Franklin D. Cameron was riding his bike on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street S when he lost control of the bike, fell in front of an oncoming car and was dragged underneath it in the early hours of New Year's Day, according to St. Petersburg police.

The 58-year-old man was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Cameron was trying to exit the driveway in front of 5241 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S about 12:47 a.m. Thursday when the accident happened, police said.

He lost control of his bike, fell onto the southbound curb of King Street and hit a southbound 2001 Chevy Monte Carlo, police said. Cameron became lodged underneath the car as the driver, Dontavous H. Thomas, 21, tried to stop.

Neither Thomas nor his passenger was injured. Cameron was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where he was declared dead at 1:35 a.m.

Leon Dexter, 68, rented an apartment to Cameron. The landlord called the tenant his friend.

"We used to drink a beer together on Sundays," Dexter said. "He was just such a nice guy, so honest."

Dexter said Cameron recently had to move out temporarily because his girlfriend filed for a domestic violence injunction, and a judge ordered Cameron to stay 500 feet away from his own apartment. Online court records confirm that Angela Moore filed for an injunction against Cameron, though the judge's order could not be confirmed because the court clerk's office was closed Friday.

"I feel so hurt about what happened," Dexter said, "that he got hurt while he was on the street."

The investigation into the accident is continuing, as police determine whether alcohol was a factor in the crash and whether charges will be filed.

Thomas, the driver, turned 21 on Thursday.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

Bicyclist dies after being dragged underneath car in St. Petersburg 01/02/09 [Last modified: Sunday, January 4, 2009 10:50pm]
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