Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Garbage truck strikes, runs over and kills St. Petersburg cyclist

A friend comforts Donna Ramage, far left, after Ramage learned that her husband, Jim, 50, had been killed.


A friend comforts Donna Ramage, far left, after Ramage learned that her husband, Jim, 50, had been killed.

ST. PETERSBURG — A 50-year-old bicyclist died a block from his home Friday after colliding with a city garbage truck.

After rescue workers covered his body with a yellow plastic tarp, a teenage girl walked up to the police tape to ask what happened. She thought her father might have been in the crash.

A police officer took her back to her house to find a picture of her father. Investigators compared it to the man lying in the street near a dark blue Cannondale mountain bike. It was Jim Ramage, her dad.

"We didn't let anybody look," said Lt. Joel Granata of St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue.

Investigators think the truck and Ramage were traveling north on Second Street N when the truck turned left onto 93rd Avenue, colliding with Ramage and throwing him to the ground. Police said he was run over by the dual wheels on the back of the truck.

While police investigated, the truck driver, Diana Veitch, sat in the passenger seat of a city SUV. In the driver's seat, her husband tried to console her.

"She's too distraught, torn up, to talk," said Ben Shirley, director of sanitation. He said she radioed 911 to report the accident.

In the next few weeks, a review board with representatives from the city, the Fire Department and the Police Department will meet to investigate what happened.

Veitch will continue to work but will not drive, said John Washington, manager of residential collection. The state requires a drug test of commercial drivers after they are involved in an accident, Washington said.

"She's a very good driver," said Washington, who did not know if she had been disciplined in the past. "Just a good employee, always has been."

She has worked for sanitation about 20 years and used to regularly drive the Riviera Bay route where the collision occurred. Pinellas County records show she was ticketed for careless driving in 1993, but the charge was dismissed.

Ramage's family briefly stayed at the scene before going home. As the afternoon wore on, friends parked by the house at 151 92nd Ave. NE and went in to visit.

Kim Morello, 43, a friend whose daughters babysat the Ramages' only child, a girl who is now a teenager, described Ramage as an athlete who ran, biked and played tennis. She said Ramage and his wife had worked to get a speed bump installed on their street to slow traffic.

Friend Michael Sagese, 64, said Ramage was a former air traffic controller who became a project manager for AT&T. Sagese said Ramage's house was full of friends on Friday who wanted to help his family.

"It's just a terrible, terrible tragedy," Sagese said. "You can't fathom something like this."

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Stephanie Garry can be reached at (727) 892-2374 or

Garbage truck strikes, runs over and kills St. Petersburg cyclist 08/29/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 2, 2008 3:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa charter school teacher charged with firing handgun at ground


    TAMPA — A Tampa charter school teacher was arrested Sunday after she fired a gun into the ground during a dispute with her boyfriend, police said.

    Melody Patrice Bing, a teacher at the Village of Excellence Academy in Tampa, emerged from her home holding a weapon and dropped it when police confronted her at gunpoint. [Tampa Police Department]
  2. Tuesday's Nothing More concert moved from the State Theatre to Jannus Live in St. Petersburg


    Nothing More was one of the highlights of April's 98 Rockfest, a thoroughly entertaining rock outfit with a larger-than-live stage presence.

    Nothing More performed at 98 Rockfest 2017 in Tampa.
  3. Buccaneers-Vikings Turning Point, Week 3: Overreaction vs. reality


    "None of us really know how this group of 53 guys is going to come together and how we're going to play this season."

    Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs torched a porous Bucs secondary Sunday with eight catches for 173 yards and two touchdowns. [Getty Images]
  4. Triad Retail Media names Sherry Smith as CEO


    ST. PETERSBURG — Triad Retail Media, a St. Petersburg-based digital ads company, said CEO Roger Berdusco is "leaving the company to pursue new opportunities" and a member of the executive team, Sherry Smith, is taking over.

    Roger Berdusco is stepping down as CEO at Triad Retail Media to pursue other opportunities. [Courtesy of Triad Retail Media]
  5. What to watch this week: Fall TV kicks off with 'Will & Grace,' 'Young Sheldon,' return of 'This Is Us'


    September temperatures are still creeping into the 90s, but fall officially started a few days ago. And with that designation comes the avalanche of new and returning TV shows. The Big Bang Theory fans get a double dose of Sheldon Cooper's nerdisms with the return of the titular series for an eleventh season and …

    Sean Hayes, Debra Messing and Megan Mullally in Will & Grace.