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Two die in Clearwater crash

Emergency workers investigate a crash between a Toyota Camry and a semitrailer truck Friday. Both car occupants died.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Emergency workers investigate a crash between a Toyota Camry and a semitrailer truck Friday. Both car occupants died.

CLEARWATER — Barbara Cumings was taking a shower Friday morning when she heard a resounding clap.

"I thought it was thunder," said Cumings, 65.

But it wasn't a storm. It was the latest in a number of accidents that she and other neighbors say they've seen at the intersection of Curlew Road and Countryside Boulevard N.

Two people — Andrzej Lowkis, 71, and Anna Maria Kubik, 65 — died in the crash, after an 18-wheel semitrailer truck struck a Toyota Camry around 10 a.m., according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The truck driver, Charles Stephen Janes, 45, said the Camry turned in front of him. He was carrying a half load at the time, he said.

According to the Highway Patrol, the Camry, driven by Lowkis of Clearwater, was traveling west on Curlew, and the semi, which had a Diel-Jerue Logistics logo, was heading east on the road. The front of the semi collided with the passenger side of the Camry as Lowkis tried to turn left onto Countryside in front of the semi.

The passenger, Kubik, who lived in Palm Harbor, was pronounced dead at the scene. Lowkis, who lived a tenth of a mile from the site of the crash, was pronounced dead Friday morning at Mease Countryside Hospital.

Both Lowkis and Kubik were wearing seat belts, authorities said.

After the initial crash, the Camry veered into a third vehicle, a 2007 Volkswagen driven by Danielle S. Watkins, who was stopped on Countryside in the right-turn lane.

Neither Watkins nor Janes was injured, according to the Highway Patrol, which is still investigating the crash.

For several hours, the crumpled Camry and the semi remained on the south side of Curlew, while authorities shut down traffic on Countryside and on Curlew's eastbound lanes.

Lowkis' wife, reached by phone at her Clearwater home, said she did not feel like talking.

Cumings and other neighbors said there are often accidents at the intersection, but most of them are fender benders.

"I've lived here since I was born," said Jessica Lipp, 15, who witnessed the crash. "There's always been accidents here."

Times staff writer Douglas R. Clifford and Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report. Lorri Helfand can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 445-4155.

Two die in Clearwater crash 11/26/10 [Last modified: Friday, November 26, 2010 10:04pm]
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