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Car trying to avoid homeless man hits, critically injures two bikers

ST. PETERSBURG — A car swerving to avoid a homeless man pushing a shopping cart cut off two motorcyclists Tuesday night, causing a wreck that left both riders critically injured.

Sherman Miller, 35, and Matthew Jones, 29, who were wearing helmets, were taken to Bayfront Medical Center and listed in critical condition Wednesday.

The incident remained under investigation, but here's how police said the chain of events unfolded:

Just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jacklyn Nugent, 21, was headed east on Central Avenue in a 2006 Chevrolet sedan when she swerved to avoid Robert Ford, 61, who had pushed a shopping cart onto Central Avenue near Sunset Drive S, just east of Yacht Club Estates. Police identified him as a transient.

When Nugent swerved, police said, she swerved into the path of the two motorcycles, which were traveling at a high speed on eastbound Central.

Miller was thrown from his motorcycle when it struck the back of the car. He went through the back windshield and ended up in the back seat.

The other motorcyclist, Jones, tried to avoid colliding with the car but instead struck the back of Miller's motorcycle. Jones lost control, struck the center median and was thrown onto the roadway, police said.

Nugent, the driver of the car, was not injured. Nor was the pedestrian, Ford.

No charges had been filed Wednesday.

Car trying to avoid homeless man hits, critically injures two bikers 12/30/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 11:24pm]
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