RIDGE MANOR WEST — A woman was killed and a man was seriously injured Wednesday afternoon when their motorcycle collided with a semitrailer truck near Ridge Manor, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The unidentified couple and the truck were heading west on Cortez Boulevard near Kettering Road at about 2:15 p.m. when the man, who was driving the motorcycle, made "an improper lane change," Sgt. Brian Archambault said.
The bike then smashed into the side of the truck, and the man and the woman were thrown off.
The woman died at the scene of the accident, while the man was airlifted to the hospital. Witnesses said the man was standing after the accident and he was moving on the gurney as he was placed into the helicopter.
As more investigators arrived at the scene, the woman's body remained under a yellow tarp that was held down by a blue helmet. The bike remained on its side at the intersection, and the truck was parked a littler farther down Cortez on the shoulder.
"It's pretty bad," Archambault said of the scene. The man left "in pretty serious condition."
The truck driver, who wasn't identified, wasn't injured in the collision.
A witness, who declined to give his name, was waiting at the scene to talk with FHP troopers. He said he was driving west on Cortez ahead of the bike in his late-model Mercury SUV when he heard a loud noise behind him. The man said fragments from the collision landed on his vehicle.
"Then all I seen was a lot of smoke and a sneaker coming out of it," he said. "I didn't see it happen. But it makes you feel sick."
FHP spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins didn't return a message left on his cell phone Wednesday.
Hernando deputies shut down westbound lanes on Cortez while troopers investigated the accident. The traffic, which stretched on for about a quarter-mile, was directed to head south on Kettering.
Joel Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 754-6120.