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Crash kills motorcycle driver, friend

A 21-year-old Dunedin man and a 20-year-old Oldsmar woman riding with him are killed when he loses control of the motorcycle on the Courtney Campbell Parkway.

Two good friends left Dunedin on a borrowed motorcycle Tuesday evening, heading out for a short ride on a hot summer night.

Christopher Casimer, 21, was driving the 1999 Kawasaki Ninja, with 20-year-old Kristine Wubbolt sitting behind him. They told friends and relatives they would return in an hour.

The ride ended in Tampa when the motorcycle crashed on the Courtney Campbell Parkway. Tampa police said paramedics pronounced Casimer and Wubbolt dead at the accident site.

Wubbolt, who lived with her brother in an apartment at 833 East Lake Club Drive in Oldsmar, was a waitress at an Ybor City club. She and Casimer had been dating about eight months, said her brother, Bill Wubbolt.

"She was just one of the guys, always hanging out with us," he said Wednesday.

"She only had a couple of girlfriends. She'd always been like that, always hanging out with my friends."

The accident happened at 10:15 p.m. near the entrance to the boat ramp on the parkway. Tampa police said the Kawasaki was headed east about 80 mph.

The motorcycle swerved to avoid a westbound Dodge van driven by John Garrett, 54, of Lakeland, who was making a U-turn into the eastbound lanes, police said. The motorcycle skidded into the concrete median.

Casimer and Wubbolt were thrown from the motorcycle and landed in the middle of the road.

A Ford driven by Heather Webb, 21, of Clearwater was headed east about 60 mph and ran over Casimer and Wubbolt, police said.

Tampa police Detective Mike Willingham said the motorcycle was traveling so fast that Garrett might not have seen it coming as he made his U-turn.

"He may have seen a wall of light, but from my experience there's a good chance he didn't see anything," Willingham said.

No charges have been filed. Willingham said blood was taken from Casimer to be tested, but that there was no indication at the accident scene that he had been drinking.

Casimer of 1916 Sourwood Blvd. in Dunedin and Wubbolt had eaten dinner Tuesday at a restaurant with relatives before borrowing the motorcycle from a family friend.

It was unclear whether they were headed to a specific destination. Casimer's family declined to comment.

"I just know he was a very cool kid," Bill Wubbolt said. "He was one of the first people I enjoyed seeing my sister with."

Casimer, who attended Dunedin High School and was an avid baseball player, lived with his family on the quiet street off Belcher Road. Neighbor E.J. Klinges, whose son was a friend of Casimer's and Wubbolt's, described Casimer as "a happy-go-lucky kid" with a lot of friends.

"He was very good athlete," Klinges said. "He was real big, something like 6 foot 4 or so."

Casimer had been working for a carpet business and doing lawn maintenance.

Wubbolt's grandmother, Dorothy Quinn, said Wubbolt had done and seen more than many 20-year-olds.

"She enjoyed life," Quinn said. "She didn't have a high school diploma, but she was smart and street-smart, too."

Wubbolt's father was killed in a car crash in Long Island, N.Y., in 1982. Wubbolt's family moved to Florida when she was in kindergarten, and they lived in Palm Harbor and Spring Hill before she moved to Oldsmar.

"She had a lot of friends," said her mother, Maureen Hickey. "She was a really pretty girl. So outgoing."

_ Times staff writer Sarah Schweitzer contributed to this report.

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