A motorcyclist died Saturday morning after colliding with another motorcyclist during an event meant to raise money for a woman battling cancer.
Motorcycles, cars and trucks were invited Saturday to ride along a route to multiple bars and restaurants, beginning at 9 a.m., according to a flier advertising the charity event.
During the ride, at 11:10 a.m. a 32-year-old Spring Hill man on a motorcycle, was driving north in the outside lane of U.S. 19, just north of State Road 50. A second motorcyclist, Crystal Deinema, 52 from Spring Hill, was driving in front of the Spring Hill man, in the center lane, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. A van, driven by a 40-year-old man from Weeki Wachee, drove behind the Spring Hill man in the inside lane of U.S. 19, troopers said.
Deinema was slowing for traffic in front her when the Spring Hill man changed to the center lane. The Spring Hill man did not slow down and collided with the Deinema, according to troopers.
The Spring Hill man’s motorcycle overturned, forcing him from the bike and to land in the inside lane of U.S. 19, where the van collided with the Spring Hill man, troopers said.
The Spring Hill man died of injuries from the crash at a local hospital, troopers said. Deinema and the Weeki Wachee man driving the van were uninjured.
The Spring Hill man was not wearing a helmet. No other information was released.
The Florida Highway Patrol did not release the name of those involved in the crash, however a spokesperson confirmed Deinema as the woman involved in the crash after she reached out to the Tampa Bay Times.
Deinema says the 32-year-old Spring Hill man was part of a group of motorists raising money. The ride began at a Spring Hill sports bar at 1365 Kass Circle named Aqua Bar & Grille, at around 9 a.m. The group then was to head 10 miles north to the Sand Trap Bar & Grill in Weeki Wachee, 10508 Nicasio Rd.
Deinema told the Times in a phone interview that she was behind three other motorcycles and another 30 were behind her at the time of the crash, along with the Spring Hill motorcyclist. While the group was driving to Sand Trap Bar & Grill, a car in front of Deinema had stopped to allow another vehicle to merge, she said. The motorcycles in front of her hit their brakes, causing her to do the same. The Spring Hill man was behind her and diagonal to her right.
The Spring Hill man, Deinema said, had sped up to get in front of the group to direct traffic to make sure the fundraiser motorists could stay together. At the same time, she and others in front of her slowed down.
This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.