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Man critical after motorized wheelchair crash in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A man was seriously injured Tuesday night when the motorized wheelchair he was operating collided with a car.

The crash occurred just before 6:30 on First Avenue N near 11th Street. St. Petersburg fire officials said the man was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with traumatic injuries. Police said he was in critical condition Tuesday night.

Two witnesses said the man was crossing without lights or reflectors on his chair. Though the driver of the car braked, the man in the wheelchair hit the side of the car and flew into the air, witnesses said.

"He was crossing in what was called an unmarked crosswalk," said traffic homicide Officer Scott Pierce of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Officers did not release his identity but said he lived at John Knox Apartments, which is about a block away from the accident.

Witnesses said the man had made it to the middle of the street when he and the car collided, causing the man and the chair to fly about 6 feet in the air.

This is the second accident involving a motorized wheelchair in St. Petersburg in the last six weeks. On Dec. 8, a woman in a motorized wheelchair was struck at 16th Street and 13th Avenue S. The driver of the car that hit her left the scene.

Police said the woman in the wheelchair, Shirley Anne Lavine, was crossing legally in a crosswalk when she was hit.

Lavine, 55, was taken to Bayfront with critical injuries. Police have not arrested the driver.

Man critical after motorized wheelchair crash in St. Petersburg 01/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 9:50pm]
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