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Motorcyclist killed in New Port Richey crash

Florida Highway Patrol investigators examine the scene of Wednesday’s motorcycle crash in New Port Richey. 

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Florida Highway Patrol investigators examine the scene of Wednesday’s motorcycle crash in New Port Richey. 

NEW PORT RICHEY — A motorcyclist died Wednesday afternoon after colliding with a car at Decubellis Road and Tanglewood Drive.

The crash happened about 1:15 p.m., after Joshua Fornieri of New Port Richey passed a car "at a high rate of speed" on a Yamaha motorcycle, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report.

As Fornieri returned to the westbound lane of Decubellis, he came upon an eastbound car that was starting to turn left onto Tanglewood Drive.

Fornieri hit his brakes. The motorcycle rolled onto its side as it slid into the right side of the car, a Hyundai Sonata driven by Gaines Blakenship, 79, of New Port Richey.

The impact sent the car spinning clockwise, and it hit a stop sign on the northwest corner of the intersection. Pieces of the motorcycle also damaged a Stanley Steamer van in the eastbound lane behind the Hyundai. Fornieri was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. He was 20.

Fornieri's Facebook profile shows that he graduated in 2011 from River Ridge High School and attended Pasco-Hernando Community College.

A 100-foot skid mark pointed down Decubellis Road toward the crash scene. The debris field strewn another 30 yards down the road was only recognizable as that of a motorcycle by the largest pieces: two wheels, a frame, a battered engine and, at the end of the trail, a single rear-view mirror.

FHP vehicles idled near the scene while troopers worked into the afternoon. The red Hyundai still sat at the corner of the intersection with its rear bumper hanging off and a gash down its side. The stop sign protruded from behind the rear driver's side wheel.

Blakenship was not hurt in the crash, the FHP said. Troopers were still investigating to determine whether anyone would be cited.

Traffic was backed up and detoured for several hours Wednesday as responders laid white sheets around Fornieri's body. A few yards away, two white sneakers — one on the sidewalk, the other in the bike lane — still sat upright.

Motorcyclist killed in New Port Richey crash 04/10/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 9:07pm]

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