Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville football player one of two teen cyclists killed in collisions

Scott Avery, 17, of Brooksville was hit late Saturday while on Powell Road.

Scott Avery, 17, of Brooksville was hit late Saturday while on Powell Road.

BROOKSVILLE — The outpouring of emotion was swift and sincere, with the friends and teammates of Scott Avery reaching out for an online sanctuary to reveal their raw grief.

"I still can't believe you're gone. Nothing will be the same without you," wrote one girl.

"I wish I could go back and be there but you will always be in my heart," wrote another friend.

"It kills me to know that your dreams won't be (fulfilled)," wrote another.

Within hours, more than 25 people had left similar tributes on the colorful MySpace page. The tragic news had apparently traveled fast.

Avery, a 17-year-old student at Nature Coast Technical High, was one of two teenage boys riding bicycles who were struck by vehicles and killed in separate accidents Saturday night.

The accidents happened about an hour apart, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. The first one happened about 9 p.m. on Cedar Lane, north of State Road 50. The other one came about 10 p.m. on Powell Road.

In the second, Avery, of Brooksville, was riding east on Powell Road when his bicycle was struck from behind by a two-door 1997 Saturn. The driver of the Saturn fled the scene, but was later identified by the FHP as Leo Salvato, 36, of Spring Hill.

Salvato was found later and will face charges, FHP spokesman Steve Gaskins said Sunday.

Salvato has had several run-ins with the law. He has been arrested at least eight times in Hernando on charges of battery, criminal mischief, knowingly driving with a suspended license and driving while under the influence.

In the first collision, Justin White, 17, address unavailable, was struck by a 1998 Ford pickup truck while riding north on Cedar Lane. Timothy D. Price, 45, of Brooksville was passing another car when he hit the teen, according to the FHP.

White's bike had no lights, Gaskins said. The teen was taken to Brooksville Regional Hospital, where he died.

Attempts to reach White's family members were not immediately successful Sunday.

Meanwhile, a number of Avery's family members, friends and teammates were expected to gather Sunday evening at Nature Coast's football stadium for a hastily scheduled memorial service. The teen's mother, through a family friend, declined to comment when reached at home Sunday afternoon.

But on Avery's MySpace page, friends openly mourned for the teen who nicknamed himself "Cool Killa #10," a playful ode to his football skills and jersey number.

Through a number of pictures and comments on his personal page, friends painted a picture of a boy who loved sports, hip-hop music and making others laugh.

"You have such a good heart," wrote one girl. "Share it with everyone up there for me."

Times staff photographer Will Vragovic contributed to this report. Joel Anderson can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6120.

Brooksville football player one of two teen cyclists killed in collisions 06/01/08 [Last modified: Thursday, June 5, 2008 6:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa Bay small businesses give Tampa B+ for regulatory climate


    In a recent survey about small business sentiments toward state and local government policies that affect them, Tampa Bay ranked at No. 25 out of 80 — a B+ overall.

    Tampa Bay ranked No. 25 out of 80 in a recent survey about how small business owners feel about state and local government policies that affect them. | [Times file photo]
  2. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  3. Seminole Heights murders: fear and warnings, but no answers


    TAMPA — Interim Tampa police Chief Brian Dugan elicited loud gasps from the crowd of about 400 who showed up at Edison Elementary School on Monday night to learn more about the string of unsolved killings that have left the southeast Seminole Heights neighborhood gripped by fear.

    Kimberly Overman, left, comforts Angelique Dupree, center, as she spoke about the death of her nephew Benjamin Mitchell, 22, last week in Seminole Heights. The Tampa Police Department held a town hall meeting Monday night where concerned residents hoped to learn more about the investigation into the three shooting deaths over 11 days in southeast Seminole Heights. But police could give the crowd at Edison Elementary School few answers. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Juvenile justice reform seen as help for teen car theft problem


    ST. PETERSBURG — One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations has decided to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year.

    One of Tampa Bay's largest religious organizations, Faith & Action for Strength Together (FAST), voted Monday night to make reforming the juvenile justice system one of its top priorities for next year. FAST believes civil citations could help Pinellas County?€™s teen car theft epidemic by keeping children out of the juvenile justice system for minor offenses. [ZACHARY T. SAMPSON  |  Times]
  5. U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain (w/video)


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. Special Forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty …

    Gen. Joseph Dunford said much is still unclear about the ambush.