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Crash kills Plant City man riding trike motorcycle

BRANDON — Julie Fulkerson wishes she had picked up the phone Thursday and wished her father happy birthday.

"I sent him a card and was going to call," she said Monday. "You know how it is. Life gets busy."

She could not have known it was the last birthday her father, Andrew "Bill" Stoeth Jr., would celebrate.

Stoeth, 72, died Monday at Tampa General Hospital after his 1988 taupe-colored Goldwing Trike was hit by a car on Parsons Avenue just before noon. His wife, Janis Stoeth, 64, who was with him on the three-wheeled motorcycle, was in serious condition at Tampa General.

"He was a good dad," said Fulkerson, 49, who lives in Kentucky. "He's the person that gave me life so I'm forever indebted."

The Stoeths got married in the early 1990s and moved to Florida from Kentucky, Fulkerson said. He had worked as a truck driver, a foreman and a mechanic. She is a beautician and works out of their home at the Lakes at Countrywood, a retirement community in Plant City.

Neighbors and friends said both were avid motorcyclists and devout Christians. They attended Plant City's First Baptist Church and rode with the church's FAITH Riders Motorcycle Ministry.

Charlie Cox, the group's director, said Bill Stoeth loved to ride and take care of his motorcycle. "What he loved most about riding was riding with Jan."

They were friendly neighbors. Bill Stoeth would always strike up conversations with strangers.

"He'd help anybody," said Bob Boccolucci, 67, who lives across the street and has known the Stoeths for four years.

Bill Stoeth was a greeter at church, always smiling and shaking people's hands, said Claude Walker, senior adult pastor at First Baptist Church.

Walker said the couple was on their way to a doctor's appointment when the crash happened.

Laurie Ervin was northbound in a 1998 Ford Taurus and tried to turn left onto Windhorst Road E when her car collided with the Stoeths' motorcycle. Ervin, 42, was taken to Brandon Hospital with minor injuries.

The crash is under investigation and no charges had been filed Monday, said Debbie Carter, a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

Fulkerson said when she got news of the crash, she hoped it was a bad dream.

"You only get one dad," she said. "I should have called."

Times staff writer Shelley Rossetter contributed to this report. Reach Nandini Jayakrishna at (813) 661-2441 or njayakrishna@sptimes.com.

Crash kills Plant City man riding trike motorcycle 08/30/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:03am]
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