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Passenger killed in early morning accident

A male passenger was killed instantly Monday morning after the car he was in spun out of control and crashed just after 1 a.m., Florida Highway Patrol reports stated.

FHP troopers on Monday were withholding the name of the deceased man, pending notification of his family members.

Troopers did say the driver, Matthew Guy Lunsford, 24, of 9031 Stone Drive in Webster, was speeding east along Clinton Avenue in the 1993 Mazda car.

They said Lunsford rounded a curve and the car spun onto a grass shoulder, hitting a tree. The impact killed Lunsford's passenger instantly.

Lunsford, who was not wearing his seat belt, was flown by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where he remained Monday in fair condition, a hospital spokeswoman said.

FHP troopers said alcohol played a role in the incident, but the investigation was not complete Monday.

State records show that Lunsford has had trouble on the roads before.

Since 1993, he has been found guilty of several traffic violations, including unlawful speeding, speeding in a posted zone and failing to yield while entering a thru highway.

Lunsford also was issued a citation in an accident in Monroe County in 1996. And he had to complete a driving and substance abuse course in 1993.

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