Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo woman dies three weeks after being struck on tandem bicycle

ST. PETERSBURG — The doctors said she may never wake up. But if the young woman opened her eyes, she would not recognize her loved ones. She could not kayak or bike with the sea breeze or teach the Bible to children at summer camp.

So, on Friday night, 27-year-old Hilary Michalak's family gathered in her hospital room to say good-bye.

"I'll always have two sisters," the youngest, 23-year-old Mallory, told her. "I love you."

Nearly three weeks ago, Hilary and her boyfriend, 25-year-old Robert Lemon, were riding a tandem bike on Memorial Causeway in Clearwater when Christopher Patrick Weed, 29, struck the Largo couple with his pickup, investigators say. Lemon died that day.

Weed left the scene but later came forward to say his green Nissan pickup may have been involved in the Sept. 2 crash.

He told officers that he had left his job at Shephard's Beach Resort that day but blacked out on the way home and didn't remember hitting anyone. He approached police after later seeing a report of the crash on the news.

When investigators inspected his pickup, they found the windshield missing and damage to the front and top of the truck.

He was arrested on two charges of leaving the scene of a crash — one for death and one for injury. He remains in the Pinellas County Jail with a bail of $125,000.

Hilary, who suffered traumatic head injuries, remained in a coma at Bayfront Health after the crash. Doctors said she would stay in a persistent vegetative state. Her family — who came from Missouri, Nevada and Michigan — stayed by her side. On Friday, they decided to take her off all means of life support.

Hilary died Saturday at 7:42 a.m.

Her older sister, 30-year-old Emily, said Hilary, who worked at a Seminole church, taught youth groups and was a beloved camp counselor.

"She brought the kids out of their comfort zones in a good way," Emily said. "She was so excited about everything, her enthusiasm was contagious. Hilary loved what she was doing and everyone wanted to do it with her."

She could pull off a good prank, too, her sister Mallory said.

"Once, Hilary pretended her kayak flipped over," she said. "She was really just standing underneath it in 4-foot water. But I jumped in, fully clothed, to 'rescue' her."

Hilary, her family agreed, loved her boyfriend, Robert. They had been "best friends" for at least six years, her sisters said.

"We're glad her last memory was on the tandem bike with Rob," Mallory said. "She was doing what she loved with who she loved."

Largo woman dies three weeks after being struck on tandem bicycle 09/21/13 [Last modified: Saturday, September 21, 2013 10:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Photo of the Day for September 19, 2017 - Great Egret with green mating coloration

    Human Interest

    Today's Photo of the Day comes from Barbara Motter of Weeki Wachee, FL.

  2. 20 local museums are offering free admission or deals Saturday for Free Museum Day

    Visual Arts

    For all the community's support of the arts in the bay area, it's nice to be rewarded with free admission once in a while. And that's exactly what many area museums are offering on Saturday.

    The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg is among the museums participating in the Smithsonian's Museum Day Live, offering free admission. (LANCE ROTHSTEIN   |  Special to the Times)
  3. Cubs bring some other ex-Rays to Trop such as Wade Davis, Ben Zobrist

    Blogs

    Joe Maddon's first trip back to the Trop is getting most of the headlines tonight, but there are several other familiar faces among the eight former Rays now wearing Cubs uniforms.

  4. Bicyclist in critical condition after colliding with vehicle in St. Petersburg

    Accidents

    ST. PETERSBURG — A bicyclist is in critical condition after he ran a red light and was struck by a car on Monday night, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.

  5. Myanmar leader sidesteps atrocity allegations in first address on Rohingya crisis (w/video)

    World

    YANGON, Myanmar - In her first major speech Tuesday on the worsening Rohingya crisis, Myanmar's de facto leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, sidestepped allegations of atrocities committed against the stateless Muslim minority and cast the conflict as just one of many problems ailing the country.

    A Rohingya Muslim, who crossed over from Myanmar into Bangladesh, carries his belongings as he arrives at Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. With a mass exodus of Rohingya Muslims sparking accusations of ethnic cleansing from the United Nations and others, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday said her country does not fear international scrutiny and invited diplomats to see some areas for themselves. [Associated Press]