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Two men die in weekend crashes in Pasco

DADE CITY — William Wassmer was rarely excited about working overtime. But with construction jobs increasingly harder to come by, Wassmer appreciated the chance to make some extra money.

So when someone was needed to cover a shift at a nearby school site Saturday morning, Wassmer dutifully prepared himself for work.

"He didn't like to do it but he was a company man," said his former wife, Kathleen Wassmer. "If he had stayed in bed instead of going to work, he'd still be here."

William Wassmer, 46, of Floral City, was one of two men killed in separate car crashes in Pasco County on Saturday. Samuel McClain, a 73-year-old New Port Richey man, died in a single-car crash later in the day, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Wassmer was involved in the first accident about 6:30 a.m., about a half-hour before sunrise, on Blanton Road.

Wassmer was driving east on Blanton in his 2005 Dodge van when he drifted into the westbound lane, just past the intersection at Country Squire Lane. His van struck the front left of a 2005 Ford pickup truck driven by Roberto Rojas, 32, of Dade City.

The truck spun around counterclockwise and came to a stop in the westbound lane while Wassmer's van stopped in the eastbound lane, the FHP said.

Wassmer died from his injuries at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt.

"He was always a hard-working man," said Kathleen Wassmer. "He'd been doing real well in the past year."

William Wassmer is survived by two adult children, a son and a daughter both in their 20s. A message left with his sister wasn't immediately returned Sunday.

Rojas and Gonsalva Sansito, 40, of Dade City suffered serious injuries and were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.

In the second crash, McClain was driving west on Mitchell Boulevard about 6 p.m. in his 1999 Mercedes-Benz sport utility vehicle.

McClain was about a half-mile east of Davenport Drive when he inexplicably lost control of the vehicle, according to the FHP. The SUV left the road and plowed into several trees.

McClain, who was also not wearing a seat belt, died from injuries suffered in the crash. FHP said alcohol was not a factor in the accident.

A woman who answered the phone at McClain's home in New Port Richey declined to comment.

The FHP is still investigating both accidents.

Two men die in weekend crashes in Pasco 12/14/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 19, 2008 2:50pm]
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