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Suncoast Trail bicyclist crossing State Road 54 hit, killed by semi

ODESSA — A 43-year-old bicyclist was hit and killed by a semitrailer truck early Monday as he was trying to cross State Road 54, the Florida Highway Patrol reported.

Andres Manuel Ortega of Land O'Lakes was riding north on the Suncoast Trail, which runs parallel to the Suncoast Parkway.

About 6:28 a.m., Ortega crossed State Road 54 and was struck by a rock-hauling semi driven by 60-year-old Patricia Helen Li of Brooksville.

Ortega, who was wearing a helmet, died at the scene.

Portions of the eastbound lanes of State Road 54 were closed for about three hours, causing heavy traffic congestion.

Investigators were still working to determine who had the right of way, said Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

There were conflicting stories about whether the semi had a green light. It was possible that the light changed just prior to the crash, he said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Suncoast Trail bicyclist crossing State Road 54 hit, killed by semi 03/12/12 [Last modified: Monday, March 12, 2012 7:46pm]
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