Sunday, May 27, 2018
Public safety

Clearwater police seek witnesses to bike crash injured couple

CLEARWATER — Police are hoping the public can help them find a motorist who struck a pair of bicyclists early Monday on the Memorial Causeway, leaving both in critical condition.

On Monday afternoon, Hillary C. Michalak, 27, was at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, where she was taken by helicopter. Robert W. Lemon, 25, was at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where he was taken by ambulance. The couple lives in Largo.

A passing motorist discovered them about 6:15 a.m. after noticing a set of handlebars in the eastbound lane of the roadway, which connects downtown Clearwater to Clearwater Beach.

The driver got out and saw a high-end tandem bicycle in the bike lane. The injured riders were in a grassy area nearby, about 50 feet apart, said Joelle Castelli, the city's public safety spokeswoman.

Authorities do not know how long they were lying there. Both suffered life-threatening injuries, Castelli said.

The road's eastbound lanes were shut down for about four hours while authorities investigated.

Chris Privitera, 29, lives next door to the couple. He said he didn't know they'd been in an accident until approached Monday afternoon by a TV crew.

"It's just terrible," he said.

Lemon manages a bike shop and both were avid riders, Privitera said. Lemon rode his bike to work, he said, and stored several bikes in their apartment.

Michalak is listed as director of youth and families at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Seminole. She moved a year ago from Michigan and "has a passion for the arts and fitness,'' a church biography says.

Several weeks ago, Privitera spoke with the couple in the parking lot. They were trying out a new tandem bike.

"They were super excited about it," Privitera said. "They would take it out all the time."

Police do not have any information on a suspect vehicle, Castelli said. Police are asking anyone with information about the accident to call (727) 562-4242.

Staff writer Stephen Nohlgrern contributed to this report. Kameel Stanley can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEY — Florida Highway Patrol troopers are looking for a driver who hit and killed a 46-year-old bicyclist then drove from the scene.Shawn Michael Grady, of New Port Richey, was biking south on Rowan Road south of Massachusetts Avenue abou...
Updated: 2 hours ago
FHP: 30-year-old motorcyclist killed in Hudson crash

FHP: 30-year-old motorcyclist killed in Hudson crash

HUDSON — A 30-year-old man died after he was struck by a car and thrown off the motorcycle he was riding.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Derek Fingerle, of Hudson, was traveling south on U.S. 19 in the center lane about 8:20 p.m. Saturday. M...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said. Sabrina Michelle Hendley, 40, faces a first-degree murder charge in th...
Published: 05/26/18
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Published: 05/26/18

Police investigating shooting outside nightclub

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are investigating a fatal shooting that occurred outside a south St. Petersburg nightclub early Saturday morning.Brennan-Aire D. Williams, 28, was pronounced dead shortly after arriving by cab at Bayfront Health. Police invest...
Published: 05/26/18

Woman dies in Plant City after SUV flips off road

PLANT CITY — A Seffner woman died Saturday from injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle flipped off the road and crashed into a fence near the intersection of Tanner Road and State Road 574.Amanda K. Cepeda-Duque, 21, was traveling west on...
Published: 05/26/18
Quick action to slow traffic on Bayshore prompts call to do more citywide

Quick action to slow traffic on Bayshore prompts call to do more citywide

TAMPA — As city workers set up signs Friday establishing a lower speed limit on Bayshore Boulevard, neighborhood residents and transportation activists urged more steps to improve safety for pedestrians all across the city.The move is a good beginnin...
Published: 05/26/18
Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

Police: Driver in fatal Bayshore faces new charge in child’s death

The 18-year-old who was arrested this week after police said he was racing when he fatally struck a young mother pushing her stroller across Bayshore Boulevard was back in jail on Friday night.Cameron Herrin, 18, was arrested on a second count of veh...
Published: 05/25/18
Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Five members of 69ers motorcycle gang indicted on federal charges

Last year three members of the 69ers Motorcycle Club gang were implicated in the execution of a rival gang leader in the middle of rush hour traffic in Pasco County.Now those three and two other 69ers members have been indicted on federal charges tha...
Published: 05/25/18

Raccoon bites bicyclist, now the Health Department is looking for the victim

TAMPA — A bicyclist in the Palm River area was bitten by a raccoon Friday morning, the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County said.Now the department is concerned the animal had rabies and is searching for the bicyclist."While it is impo...
Published: 05/25/18