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Palm Harbor man killed after car slams into tree on Tampa Road

A rescue worker looks at the car that flipped Friday morning after hitting a tree in a median on Tampa Road in Oldsmar. Charles Schafer, 74, of Palm Harbor was pronounced dead at the scene after the crash near Curlew Road.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

A rescue worker looks at the car that flipped Friday morning after hitting a tree in a median on Tampa Road in Oldsmar. Charles Schafer, 74, of Palm Harbor was pronounced dead at the scene after the crash near Curlew Road.

OLDSMAR — A 74-year-old man died Friday after he lost control of his car and hit a tree in a median on Tampa Road near Curlew Road, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

Charles Schafer of 1205 Timberbrooke Drive in Palm Harbor was pronounced dead at the scene after his 2003 Toyota Corolla struck a tree and came to rest on its side about 8:30 a.m.

Deputies say Schafer had just passed Curlew Road while traveling east on Tampa Road when traffic slowed because a vulture in the road was eating the remnants of an armadillo.

Schafer didn't reduce his speed in time and swerved onto the grass median to avoid a collision with the car in front of him.

His car struck the tree head-on and then flipped onto the driver's side.

Tampa Road was completely closed for about an hour between Curlew Road and Oakleaf Boulevard after the accident. Single-lane traffic resumed in both directions about 9:30 a.m., and the road reopened fully just before 12:30 p.m.

One other minor accident occurred as another car swerved to avoid the accident, deputies said.

Brian Spegele can be reached at bspegele@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4154. Brant James can be reached at bjames@sptimes.com.

Palm Harbor man killed after car slams into tree on Tampa Road 07/31/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 11:03pm]
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