Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Holiday man charged with DUI manslaughter in two deaths

HUDSON — The pickup barreled east at nearly 90 mph on Denton Avenue, the three friends inside having just left the Players Club. It was Oct. 11, a Sunday, about 12:40 a.m. when the driver missed a curve near East Road. The Florida Highway Patrol said the truck hit a steel guardrail, sliding against the metal for nearly 100 feet, shearing off the front tire, rim and fender. The truck went airborne, flipping four times before colliding with a large steel power pole.

The truck's front passenger, Harry S. Diede Jr., 30, was thrown from the vehicle and died at the scene. The man seated in the back, Mark R. Whisner, 40, also died, pinned in the wreckage. The driver, Shawn Allen Cleaver, 35, was injured, but still alive.

On Monday, Cleaver was arrested and charged with the deaths of his passengers. Authorities said Cleaver was drunk — his blood-alcohol level between 0.124 and 0.125 percent, well above the 0.08 level where the law presumes impairment in Florida. Diede and Whisner were also drunk when they died, a report states. Diede's level was between 0.123 and 0.139 and Whisner's was between 0.311 and 0.326.

Cleaver is charged with two counts of DUI manslaughter, two counts of vehicular homicide and DUI with serious bodily injury. Cleaver, of Holiday, was released from Pasco County Jail Monday on $45,000 bail. It is his first arrest in Florida, say Florida Department of Law Enforcement records.

Cleaver did not want to commentTuesday.

An obituary for Diede said he was known as "Buster" and lived in Hudson. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Whisner's obituary said he was a drywall contractor in Spring Hill and is survived by his wife, mother and two siblings.

Times researcher Carolyn Edds contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at or (727) 869-6229.

Holiday man charged with DUI manslaughter in two deaths 04/27/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store


    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

  2. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  3. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  4. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108
  5. Fennelly: About time Dave Andreychuk makes Hockey Hall of Fame

    Lightning Strikes

    It's Andy's time.

    And it's about time.

    Former Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk has been elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame. He had been eligible since 2009, a ridiculously long wait for someone who scored 640 goals, including a record 274 on the power play.

    LEFT: Dave Andreychuk talks at the podium as he is honored with a statue in front of the now-Amalie Arena.