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Motorcyclist in fatal U.S. 19 crash idenfitied by Pinellas Park police

PINELLAS PARK — Police have identified the motorcyclist who they said died on U.S. 19 early Friday morning while racing another motorcycle.

Thomas Hofbauer, 37, of Clearwater, died at a hospital two hours after Pinellas Park police said his northbound 2008 Kawasaki motorcycle struck a car that turned into his path at 6:15 a.m.

Hofbauer was not wearing a helmet, police said.

Sharon Cibrone, 58, of Pinellas Park, was driving a 2002 Chrysler south on U.S. 19 when police said she started to turn left onto eastbound Gateway Center Blvd.

But she crossed into the path of two motorcycles racing at high speeds on U.S. 19, police said, and Hofbauer struck the car.

"High speed, no helmet, failure to yield — put these three combinations together and nothing good's going to happen," said Pinellas Park police Sgt. Tracey Schofield.

A black leather boot lay in the middle of U.S. 19 about 100 feet from the crumpled black motorcycle. The other motorcyclist left the scene and has not been identified.

Hofbauer was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg where he was pronounced dead at 8:25 a.m.

All northbound lanes of U.S. 19 near Gateway Centre Boulevard were closed for hours as traffic was diverted onto Gateway Centre Boulevard. U.S. 19 was re-opened at 10 a.m.

This crash is still under investigation.

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Police say two motorcyclists were racing north on U.S. 19 at high speed Friday morning when one of them hit this car, which was turning onto Gateway Centre Boulevard.

DANNY VALENTINE | Times

Police say two motorcyclists were racing north on U.S. 19 at high speed Friday morning when one of them hit this car, which was turning onto Gateway Centre Boulevard.

Anyone with information about this accident or the motorcycle rider who fled the scene is asked to call Pinellas Park police at (727) 541-0758.

Motorcyclist in fatal U.S. 19 crash idenfitied by Pinellas Park police 06/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, June 11, 2010 3:38pm]
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