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Two victims of fatal Ruskin crash identified

RUSKIN — A couple from Ruskin died Friday night when their truck was hit by a sport utility vehicle at the intersection of U.S. 41 and Cockroach Bay Road, authorities said.

The driver, Clarence W. Bassett Jr., 82, and his wife, Sallie E. Bassett, 70, died at the scene, Florida Highway Patrol troopers reported.

Their truck was traveling east on Cockroach Bay Road about 11 p.m. when it entered the intersection at U.S. 41 and was broadsided by the SUV. The truck overturned, troopers said.

Troopers said the Bassetts were wearing seat belts.

The driver of the SUV, Vincent A. Clavel-Menjivar of Ruskin, had minor injuries.

An investigation into the crash was ongoing, but troopers reported no charges Saturday.

The Bassetts' neighbors said the couple were coming home from a gathering with friends at which they had played cards and dominoes.

The Bassetts moved into their two story-home in the River Bend subdivision three years ago, said Tina Martin, 31, who lives across the street.

Martin said the polite couple bought the home from a niece who lived in Bradenton. They kept in contact with a daughter who lived in their native Tennessee.

They also had a poodle named Blondie and were very active at the South Hillsborough Church of Christ.

"They were very nice people," Martin said. "And they very outgoing."

Two victims of fatal Ruskin crash identified 04/09/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 9, 2011 9:48pm]
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