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Largo motorcyclist killed in crash with SUV

Times Staff

SEMINOLE — A 23-year-old Largo man was killed Thursday night after he rammed a motorcycle into an SUV at Starkey Road and 109th Ave. N.

Florida Highway Patrol troopers said Ryan Craig Palmisano accelerated from a nearby traffic signal at a high speed. A witness said the motorcycle "shot off like a rocket" before hitting a Lincoln Navigator that was making a left turn.

Palmisano was pronounced dead at Bardmoor Emergency Center, but not before his ambulance was involved in another wreck on the way to the hospital.

FHP Sgt. Larry Kraus said an investigation is in progress and no charges have been filed.

The crash occurred about 9 p.m. as Jason David Wells, 21, was crossing Starkey Road onto 109th Avenue. His SUV was struck in the rear by Palmisano, who was riding a 2007 Honda, according to an FHP report.

According to the report, Palmisano accelerated toward 109th Avenue N after the traffic signal turned green at the nearby Starkey and Bryan Dairy intersection. Wells, traveling north on Starkey, had turned left across southbound Starkey toward 109th and was struck by the front of the motorcycle.

Motorist Ray Kalmbach, who was waiting to exit a Publix parking lot onto Starkey when the accident occurred, said the traffic signal was still red at Bryan Dairy Road when Wells began his turn across Starkey.

"As soon as that light turned green, (Palmisano) shot off like a rocket," he said. "The SUV was black so maybe he never saw it. The thing is, it was completely unnecessary. There was no one to (Palmisano's) left. He could have swerved if he had the reaction time."

Palmisano was wearing a helmet according to the FHP report. Wells, of Largo, was uninjured.

The ambulance that took Palmisano to the hospital was struck as it crossed the intersection of Starkey and Bryan Dairy roads, authorities said.

The ambulance was delayed briefly, but then continued on to the hospital, which is located near the intersection. No one on board was injured, according to Pinellas Sheriff's officials.

The driver who hit the ambulance was cited for failing to yield to an emergency vehicle, officials said, but his name was unavailable Friday. Another ambulance took that driver to Bardmoor as a precaution.

To view video from the scene of the crash, go to

Motorcyclist dies in accident

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Largo motorcyclist killed in crash with SUV 06/05/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 6, 2009 11:42am]
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