Sunday, April 22, 2018
Public safety

Graziano brother one of two injured in Largo crash with dump truck

LARGO — For the second time in five years, Debra Graziano prayed for a miracle as her son lay critically injured in a hospital bed.

Michael Graziano had been riding in a car with a friend. They were speeding. Paramedics rushed both men to Bayfront Medical Center after the crash.

All this — again.

"It's about every mother's worst nightmare," said family attorney George Tragos. "And she's had to go through it twice."

In 2007, Graziano's son John suffered severe brain damage while riding in a car with Nick Bollea, son of wrestling star Hulk Hogan.

Early Tuesday, John's younger brother Michael, 23, was critically injured when he and Cameron Richard Bosley, 24, crashed into the back of a dump truck.

"It is time for prayer," Debra Graziano said in a statement.

The men were in a 1994 Volvo, westbound in the center lane of Ulmerton Road near 66th Street, just before 3 a.m. Their car sped up and plowed straight into the rear of a dump truck at a high rate of speed, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Both vehicles ended up in the intersection, blocking several lanes of traffic until 4:30 a.m. The Volvo's front end was demolished.

Graziano and Bosley, both of Dunedin, were rushed to Bayfront Medical Center. Graziano's injuries were described as critical. Bosley suffered serious injuries but by Tuesday afternoon was listed in fair condition, hospital spokeswoman Emily Nipps said.

"The family is just begging for prayers for Michael and to keep them healing," Debra Graziano said.

Neither man was wearing a seat belt, troopers said.

According to Florida Department of Transportation records, Bosley has a history of driving offenses that includes speeding, failure to wear a seat belt and careless driving.

The driver of the dump truck, Steven Edward Brady, 57, of Lakeland, was unharmed.

The Graziano family was thrust into the national spotlight in 2007, when John Graziano suffered a broken skull in a car driven by 17-year-old Nick Bollea.

Bollea lost control of his Toyota Supra near downtown Clearwater, jumping a curb and crashing into a palm tree about 7:30 p.m. Graziano was not wearing a seat belt.

The family settled a lawsuit against the Bolleas in 2010 for an undisclosed sum, though experts have estimated the potential value of the settlement between $25 million and $50 million.

An Iraq War veteran, John Graziano was hospitalized for two years at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa. He was discharged in 2009 and remains in a minimally conscious state, though Tragos said he improves every day.

"It's slow, but steady," Tragos said. "He's doing better and better."

Debra Graziano spends her days taking care of him. A fact, she has said, her estranged husband ignored when he tried to hire a hit man to kill her.

Edward Graziano, the father of John and Michael, was sentenced last year to 10 years in prison for plotting to kill Debra. He offered $2,100 and a pizza shop gift card to an undercover deputy in exchange for killing his estranged wife.

Tragos said Debra Graziano has clung to her sons and her faith.

"She's an incredibly strong woman," Tragos said. "Right now, she's asking for prayer. A lot of prayer."

Times researcher Natalie Watson contributed to this report. Marissa Lang can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3386.

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