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Driver charged in May hit-run death of bicyclist

BROOKSVILLE — A Spring Hill man was charged with DUI manslaughter Wednesday from a May collision with a bicycle that killed a 17-year-old boy.

Leo Salvato, 37, of 251 Hampshire Ave., was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol on charges that also include driving while license suspended resulting in death, leaving the scene of a traffic crash resulting in death and careless driving. He was booked into the Hernando County Jail and remained in custody in lieu of $55,000 bail.

The fatal accident happened on the night of May 31 on Powell Road, near Gloucester Road, just south of Brooksville, an FHP report says. Scott Avery, a Nature Coast Technical High School student, was riding east on Powell when his bicycle was struck from behind by a two-door 1997 Saturn.

The driver of the Saturn fled but was identified by the FHP as Salvato. He was caught within 2 miles of the crash, the FHP report says.

Avery died at the scene of the crash.

Toxicology results later showed Salvato had been driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.158 percent, almost twice the limit where the law presumes impairment.

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 under the influence.

Joel Anderson can be reached at or at 352-754-6120.

Driver charged in May hit-run death of bicyclist 11/05/08 [Last modified: Friday, November 7, 2008 12:49pm]
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