Odessa motorcyclist dead, passenger hurt after collision with van, troopers say

John Edward Valentine died at Medical Center of Trinity, the Highway Patrol said. The crash occurred near the intersection of SR 54 and Black Lake Road in Odessa.
John Edward Valentine died at Medical Center of Trinity, the Highway Patrol said. The crash occurred near the intersection of SR 54 and Black Lake Road in Odessa.
John Edward Valentine died at Medical Center of Trinity, the Highway Patrol said. The crash occurred near the intersection of SR 54 and Black Lake Road in Odessa.
Published December 31 2018

ODESSA — A 50-year-old motorcyclist died Friday after colliding with a van that pulled out in front of him, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

John Edward Valentine of Odessa died at Medical Center of Trinity, the Highway Patrol said. The crash occurred near the intersection of State Road 54 and Black Lake Road in Odessa.

Here's how troopers described the incident:

Eugenio Clerge, 57, of Brooksville was driving a 2015 Chevy Express van south on Asturian Parkway in Odessa about 5 p.m. Friday.

At the same time, Valentine was driving a 2004 Harley Davidson Fatboy west on SR 54, with 54-year-old Diane Burkhardt Mier as his passenger.

As Valentine approached Black Lake Road, Clerge tried to turn left into the eastbound lane of SR 54. Clerge drove into Valentine’s path, troopers said, and the motorcycle collided with the front of the van.

Valentine was taken to the hospital, where he died. Mier, who is from New Port Richey, was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with critical injuries.

Alcohol was not a factor in the incident, troopers said, and Clerge was wearing his seatbelt. Chargers were pending as of Saturday.

Contact Justin Trombly at [email protected] Follow @JustinTrombly.

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