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Port Richey driver cleared of charges in fatal accident

(ran PC edition of Pasco Times)

Charges against a man accused of vehicular homicide were dismissed Thursday after a judge ruled there was not enough evidence that he meant to kill a motorcyclist while passing another car.

Robert Ynosencio, 47, of 8120 Bannister Lane in Port Richey, was driving his pickup truck east along County Line Road in Hernando County on Dec. 24, 1998, when he tried to pass a vehicle, records show.

Dense fog made it difficult to see along that stretch of road, just west of Preston Hollow Road, according to witnesses. While in the left lane, Ynosencio's truck collided head-on with Darryl G. Heule's motorcycle.

Heule, 38, of Masaryktown, was on his way to work at a Publix in Holiday when the accident occurred.

Ynosencio's pickup caught fire, burning much of the cab, but he escaped. Heule was dead when rescue workers arrived.

Circuit Judge Jack Springstead ruled the state failed to show Ynosencio was culpably negligent in the accident.

Assistant State Attorney Bill Catto, who said he plans to appeal, described culpable negligence as "wanton and reckless disregard for life." He added that he thinks by passing another car in such fog, Ynosencio's actions qualified as reckless.

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