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Deputies, motorcyclist injured in Interstate 75 crash near Sun City Center

SUN CITY CENTER — Two Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies were injured Friday morning when a motorcyclist ran into them on Interstate 75 near Sun City Center.

The crash happened just after 8 a.m. when Capt. Steve Launikitis, 53, stopped a motorcyclist on the southbound side of I-75 just north of the Sun City Center exit, the Sheriff's Office said. As he made the stop, Master Deputy Chris Davis, 49, arrived to assist.

Both deputies were standing on the side of the road talking to the motorcyclist, Bryan Martinez of Valrico, when another motorcyclist approached from behind. Apparently unaware that traffic was slowing due to the stop, he sped ahead, drove off the road and into the deputies, the Sheriff's Office said.

Both deputies and the motorcyclist who hit them were flown to Tampa General Hospital with injuries that were serious but not life-threatening, officials said. The motorcyclist who hit the deputies was identified as Bryan Edmonston, 27, of Kissimmee. He was driving a 1993 Honda Goldwing. Martinez, who was on a 2005 Suzuki, was not injured.

Moments before the crash, Davis and Launikitis alerted Martinez to move when they saw Edmonston's motorcycle hurtling toward them. That kept Martinez from being hit, the Sheriff's Office said.

Davis has a broken leg and dislocated shoulder, according to the Sheriff's Office. Launikitis has a broken leg and possibly a broken hip. They will be hospitalized for several days. Edmonston, who was not wearing a helmet, was taken to TGH with a head injury that isn't considered life-threatening.

The crash temporarily closed all southbound lanes on the interstate just north of the Sun City Center exit. Edmonston has not been charged and the investigation is ongoing, but the Sheriff's Office said he showed no signs of impairment.

Hillsborough sheriff’s personnel work the scene of an accident on southbound I-75 near Sun City Center on Friday. The two deputies and the motorcyclist involved in the crash were flown to the hospital with serious injuries, officials said.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Hillsborough sheriff’s personnel work the scene of an accident on southbound I-75 near Sun City Center on Friday. The two deputies and the motorcyclist involved in the crash were flown to the hospital with serious injuries, officials said.

Deputies, motorcyclist injured in Interstate 75 crash near Sun City Center 10/25/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 25, 2013 11:30pm]
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