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Passenger, 21, dies after motorcycle crash

Published Aug. 24, 2005

A passenger in Sunday's motorcycle collision in Town 'N Country has died, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

The crash injured Cody Colvino, 23, and killed his passenger, Elizabeth Rosa Torres, 21.

Colvino and Torres, of 6311 Elliot Drive, were riding a 1993 Honda motorbike south on Sheldon Road just before 9 p.m. Sunday.

Carissa Lyons, 19, of 9623 Sun Dial Drive was driving a 1993 Ford Tempo east on Camino Villa Boulevard.

Lyons didn't see the motorcycle, and tried turning left onto Sheldon Road, "violating the motorcycle's right of way," Sheriff's Lt. Rod Reder said.

Colvino and Torres were thrown from the motorbike when it collided with the left side of the Ford Tempo.

Torres was taken to Town & Country Hospital and died overnight, Reder said.

Colvino was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital.

On Monday, hospital spokesman Will Darnall said Colvino was in intensive care in serious condition.

Lyons, the driver of the Ford Tempo, was not injured.

Reder said he doesn't expect an arrest.

Except for a traffic citation last month that was later dismissed, Lyons has a clean driving history, records show.

Colvino has at least six violations in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties dating as far as 1999. They range from speeding to not wearing a seat belt.

Reder said he doesn't know the relationship between Colvino and Torres.

Store clerk accused

of fondling 14-year-old

SEFFNER _ A convenience store clerk was arrested Sunday after a 14-year-old girl told Sheriff's Office investigators that he followed her to the store's bathroom, fondled her and offered to pay her for sex.

According to a criminal affidavit, Praveen "Peter" Patel, 48, of Seffner, followed the teen to the back room of the Citgo, 11305 U.S. Hwy 92, grabbed her breast and kissed her cheek as she waited to use the bathroom.

The teenager told deputies she pushed Patel away and yelled at her friend inside the bathroom to hurry, but he once again grabbed her breast and kissed her.

She told Patel, "I'm not a ho," and he responded by saying "$40, $40," according to the affidavit.

Patel earlier had given the teen and her friend candy from the store, according to the affidavit.

Patel is charged with lewd and lascivious molestation on a minor, and soliciting a person under 16 for prostitution.

Both are felonies.

He is being held in the county jail in lieu of $15,000 bail.

He has no prior arrest history in Florida.

Teen gets life sentence

in ex-girlfriend's death

TAMPA _ Seven months after he dragged his bloodied ex-girlfriend to a trash bin and left her to die, 16-year-old Rocky Almestica Jr. learned he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Emily Clemons, 16, died in June, soon after being found with a crushed skull in a trash bin at a North Tampa apartment complex.

Prosecutors said Almestica and then-girlfriend Laisha Landrum had teamed to beat Clemons on the head with pots and a hammer, then tried to get rid of her.

Almestica's defense attorneys blamed the killing on Landrum, but a jury in November convicted Almestica of second-degree murder.

Landrum is awaiting trial on charges of first-degree murder and evidence tampering.

"Emily is gone from me forever," the victim's mother, Donna Clemons, told Hillsborough Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett.

At the hospital, she said, her daughter was so badly beaten that she recognized her only by her fingernails.

Bicyclist critical

after crash with truck

SEFFNER _ A 22-year-old man was clinging to life Monday evening after a truck collided with two bicyclists on a darkened Hillsborough County road, according to sheriff's reports.

Deputies said Jordan Carpenter, of Seffner, was revived at Brandon Regional Hospital after the accident and flown to Tampa General Hospital.

Sheriff's spokesman Rod Reder said Carpenter remained in "extremely critical" condition late Monday.

The second bicyclist, 22-year-old Sarah Veazey, also of Seffner, was undergoing treatment late Monday at Brandon Regional Hospital. Her injuries did not appear life-threatening, Reder said.

The accident happened about 8 p.m. Monday as Carpenter and Veazey rode south on Taylor Road, just north of Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd, Reder said.

A southbound 1998 Toyota pickup truck driven by Taffy Carter, 52, of Kathleen, struck the pair.

It wasn't clear how the accident happened or who was at fault, Reder said.