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Deputies search for gray Cadillac in hit-and-run that killed motorcyclist

TAMPA — James Beaupierre wanted everyone to be included in a party.

That's why on June 12 he was taking a plate of a shindig's delicacies to a friend who couldn't make it, his sister said Friday night.

Beaupierre, 46, was riding his 1999 Kawasaki Ninja motorcycle on S 78th Street near S 50th Avenue in Progress Village when a car turned left in front of him, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

Beaupierre, a master mechanic, struck the car and died at the scene of the crash. Deputies said the car's driver kept going and didn't return. Without witnesses, deputies initially had very little information about the incident.

On Friday, investigators revealed they are looking for an early '90s Cadillac Sedan de Ville or Coupe de Ville, gray or silver in color with fairly severe damage to the front passenger door and possibly the right front quarter panel.

Beaupierre was a father of five, grandfather of two. He was born in Dominica but raised in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, said his sister Jennifer Woodley, 41, of Valrico.

He spent 30 years building his reputation as a master mechanic working on personal vehicles and big rig trucks, Woodley said. Most recently, he repaired airport equipment trucks around Tampa International Airport, she said.

"A lot of his clients became his friends because he built close relationships with them and always took care of them," Woodley said.

Smiling was his style.

"Sometimes he would just smile quietly and you never knew when he was upset because he never showed you that side of himself," she said.

More than anything, he wanted to get others involved. Whether it was in the family domino game or tasting his excellent seafood dishes, he loved to share.

Woodley said her brother and another friend drove separately to deliver the plate June 12 because Beaupierre planned to drive home from there.

Friends, family and co-workers gathered for a memorial service in Tampa June 17. Beaupierre's remains are being taken back to St. Thomas for a funeral and interment Tuesday.

Woodley said she and Beaupierre's other siblings just want the person responsible to come forward.

"We request that they do the right thing," Woodley said. "We trust God that whoever it is will be caught eventually."

Anyone with information about this accident or the suspected car can contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200 or give an anonymous tip at Crime Stoppers, toll-free at 1-800-873-8477.

Deputies search for gray Cadillac in hit-and-run that killed motorcyclist 06/24/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2011 10:33pm]
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