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Man in wheelchair hit by car, dies

Published Oct. 12, 2005

A man was struck and killed Wednesday as he rolled his wheelchair across a busy street, police said.

Forrest Rakes, 61, had just left his nursing home, the Jacaranda Manor, when he traveled onto 66th Street N shortly before noon, said Kenneth City police Chief Chester Kowalski.

A car, driven by 81-year-old Frank Wiley, struck Rakes and his wheelchair in the northbound lane of 66th Street near its intersection with 43rd Avenue N, Kowalski said.

Rakes was pronounced dead on the scene after Lealman fire and rescue workers could not revive him, Kowalski said.

Rakes was traveling east across 66th Street from the Jacaranda, Kowalski said. "He was crossing there, and he apparently didn't see the car or thought there was enough time to make it," he said.

That street _ and its proximity to the nursing home _ has been the site of accidents in the past, Kowalski said.

"People have done this before," he said. The intersection, where speeds of 45 mph are allowed, has no traffic light or stop sign.

No charges had been filed in the accident Wednesday afternoon. Pinellas County sheriff's deputies will continue to investigate the accident.