Springstead High School student, 17, killed in motorcycle crash

Eric Parisi died after running a red light and hitting a vehicle a few blocks from the Spring Hill school, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Published November 27 2018
Updated November 27 2018

SPRING HILL — A teenage motorcyclist died Tuesday morning after state troopers said he ran a red light and struck a vehicle as it made a lefthand turn through the intersection.

The incident took place at about 7:15 a.m. at the intersection of Mariner Boulevard and Northcliffe Boulevard, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

Eric A. Parisi, 17, of Spring Hill, was headed south on Mariner on a 2007 Suzuki motorcycle, troopers said. At the same time, a 2013 Kia Sorento driven by 38-year-old Krystal Kunkel of Spring Hill was headed north on Mariner, in the lefthand turn lane approaching the traffic light at the Northcliffe intersection.

The Kia had the green arrow signal to turn left, troopers said, but as she did so Parisi's motorcycle went through the red light and struck the right side of the vehicle.

Parisi was a student at Springstead High School, said a Hernando County School District spokesperson. Based on the time and location of the crash — a few blocks away from the school — he may have been on his way to the high school.

The 17-year-old was wearing his helmet at the time of the crash. No charges will be field against the Kia driver, according to a trooper’s report.

Springstead High principal Carmine Rufa said he knew Parisi well. He was a senior, and they often worked together when Parisi helped with theater technology on the school's parent nights, Rufa said. Parisi also volunteered to photograph the school's Student of the Month each month, according to the principal. He was in the school's band and worked at a local paintball range, Rufa said, but he remembers him most for his genial maturity.

"He was willing to help out at any time," Rufa said. "He's such a great kid. Great to talk with — like you're talking to an adult."

Grief counselors were at the school Tuesday, Rufa said, and more than 50 students spoke with them. Some students have talked about painting his parking spot, but Rufa said they'll settle on a plan later to memorialize Parisi.

"Words can't explain how it feels," Rufa said.

Contact Jack Evans at [email protected] Follow @JackHEvans.