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Driver in chase still in critical condition

Published Oct. 16, 2005

More than a week after being seriously injured in a car crash,Christopher Bryant remains in critical condition in Tampa General Hospital's intensive care unit.

Bryant, the driver of a Chevrolet Blazer that was chased for several miles by Dade City police officers before the crash Feb. 5, was injured when his truck rammed into a front-end loader on Burn Bridge Road in East Pasco.

Two passengers, Bonnie Jean Biddle and Robert Wayne McCullough, both 19, were killed.

An accident report released Monday by the Highway Patrol says the pursuit by officers - who were chasing the truck after getting a report of stolen beer - ended at a wooden bridge on Burn Bridge Road, about one mile before the crash.

The report says a witness at the scene said the Blazer was not being pursued by a police vehicle when it collided with the front-end loader.

The statements confirm those made by Dade City Police Chief Phil Thompson, who said his officers were told to stop the chase well in advance of the collision.

But they conflict with comments made by Bonnie Biddle's husband, David, who said witnesses at the scene told him the officers were in hot pursuit until the end.