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Two motorcyclists died just before 7 p.m. Monday after crashing head-on with a Dodge Caravan, a Hillsborough sheriff's spokesman reported. The two deceased victims were riding together on one Harley-Davidson motorcycle. They were northbound on Morris Bridge Road near the Pasco-Hillsborough county line when they veered into the southbound lane and struck the Dodge Caravan carrying a family of four, sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway said. The riders were dead at the scene when emergency crews arrived. The female driver of the Caravan was taken by helicopter to St. Joseph's Hospital. Her children and husband were taken to the same hospital by ambulance, Callaway said. Neither the victims' names nor their conditions were immediately available.

Times staff writer


One car crashes; 6 sent to hospitals

Six people were hospitalized after a single-car crash late Sunday, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Silvestre Rodarte Jr., was driving a 1998 Mercury west on Cason Road near Gentry Road when he failed to negotiate a left turn.

Rodarte, 20, drove off the road, through a ditch and came to a stop on top of a berm, spokesman J.D Callaway said. Rodarte and passenger Alicia Poss, 15, were both flown by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital.

Other passengers injured were: Ryan Daniel Swindle, 17; Kayla Rodriguez, 16; Camerin Trice, 15; and Olen Tweed, 18.

Swindle and Poss were both listed in critical condition and Rodarte was fair, a TGH spokeswoman said.


Pinellas deputy accused of assault

A Pinellas County sheriff's deputy was put on paid administrative leave Monday after Pasco County authorities arrested him and said he assaulted his live-in girlfriend.

Deputy Kenneth Ray Garris, 52, was arrested at his home in Holiday at 12:28 a.m. Monday on misdemeanor charges of domestic battery and criminal mischief.

Garris, a patrol deputy, was off duty at the time of his arrest. Garris had to remain in custody 24 hours for a "cooling-off period," Pasco sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin said.

According to a Pasco sheriff's arrest affidavit, Garris and his girlfriend of five years, Yvonne Chambers, argued soon after returning from a short vacation in St. Augustine.

Chambers told deputies that at some point, Garris "grabbed my cell phone and shoved me to the ground." Chambers' jeans were torn at the knee, which had a scrape, the report said.