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Bicyclist killed in St. Petersburg crash

St. Petersburg police investigators analyze the scene of a fatal collision Tuesday morning. The crash that killed David Formato, a 54-year-old father of two, is the second bicycle fatality in St. Petersburg this year. No charges were filed Tuesday but police still are looking into the crash.

LARA CERRI | Times

St. Petersburg police investigators analyze the scene of a fatal collision Tuesday morning. The crash that killed David Formato, a 54-year-old father of two, is the second bicycle fatality in St. Petersburg this year. No charges were filed Tuesday but police still are looking into the crash.

ST. PETERSBURG — David Formato was on his bike waiting to cross the street Tuesday morning.

Then a white Kia made a left turn in front of a green Honda at the intersection of 13th Avenue N and 34th Street. The cars collided.

The impact sent the Honda barreling into Formato, a 54-year-old carpenter who has a son in the Army and a daughter in college.

Formato was killed instantly.

"This poor guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's a shame," said Mike Moody, 53, of St. Petersburg, who rode up to the scene on his blue mountain bike after the crash.

Authorities said the Kia's driver, Terreena Robinson, 19, of St. Petersburg had been going south on 34th Street just after 10 a.m. She turned left in front of the Honda, driven by Sean Self, 25, of St. Petersburg, police said.

Robinson and Self both were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

No charges were filed Tuesday. Police are still investigating, said St. Petersburg police spokesman Mike Puetz.

Florida is one of the most dangerous states for bicyclists and pedestrians. The bicyclist fatality rate was nearly triple the national rate in 2009, which is the latest year data is available, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Tuesday's crash was the second bicycle fatality in St. Petersburg this year. The city had five bike fatalities in 2011, Puetz said.

Formato's family was reeling from his death Tuesday.

Family members said he was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area and lived in St. Petersburg for the past several years with a longtime girlfriend, Tina Abbott.

He had a 21-year-old daughter, Desiree, who attends the University of South Florida, and a 24-year-old son, David, who is an Army sergeant scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan in June.

"David was such a great guy," said Debbie Race, 53, of Tampa, Formato's ex-wife. "He was always an extremely caring, compassionate guy."

Race said she and Formato remained friends despite divorcing more than a decade ago. She said he even visited on Thanksgiving and was friends with her current husband.

"He was just that kind of a guy," Race said.

Kameel Stanley can be reached at kstanley@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8643.

Bicyclist killed in St. Petersburg crash 05/29/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:05pm]
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