FHP: Suspect reached speeds around 100 mph
The Florida Highway Patrol said Joel Ray Derksen was drunk and driving between 96 and 103 mph in a 45 mph zone when he caused a crash in April that killed his passenger. Derksen, 27, was arrested Thursday and charged with DUI causing death and DUI causing damage to property. According to authorities, his blood alcohol level was 0.158, nearly twice the threshold at which state law presumes impairment. About 2:30 a.m. April 14, Derksen was headed east on Hudson Avenue, approaching Pavilion Drive, when the road curved and he lost control of his 2003 Subaru sedan, an FHP report states. The car veered off the road, hit a tree and overturned. Marcella Marie Martin, 25, of Hudson, was pronounced dead about 3 a.m. at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Another passenger, Philip Manuli, 27, of Holiday suffered serious injuries. Both Martin and Manuli were thrown from the car, which landed on its roof. Neither were wearing seat belts. Derksen, who was wearing a seat belt, had minor injuries, officials said. Derksen, of 10501 Woodland Ave. in Hudson, is being held at the Pasco jail in lieu of $20,500 bail.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Radio amateurs to have Field Day
The Gulf Coast Amateur Radio Club will culminate Amateur Radio Week with a two-day event called Field Day, an on-the-air event in the United States and Canada. More than 35,000 radio amateurs will gather with clubs, groups or friends to operate their radios from remote locations. Participants practice emergency response capabilities and demonstrate how they help in nonemergency civic events such as marathons or parades. The event is all day today until noon Sunday in the field across from Dobies Funeral Home at Congress Street and Florida Avenue. For more information, call Bill at (727) 869-0784. Talk-in on the club repeater at WA4GBN 146.670 MHz no tone. An East Pasco field day has been planned by the Pasco County Amateur Repeater Group all day today and into Sunday at Blueberry Hill Way and Clay Hill Road outside Dade City. From Interstate 75, head east on Clay Hill Road from exit 293. Talk in on club repeater N9EE 146.640 Mgz.
Volunteers sought to care for cats
The Tampabay Cat Alliance, Inc. seeks volunteers to visit with cats who are up for adoption, to clean their cages and make sure each cat has sufficient water and food. The organization fosters cats and hosts cat adoption events, yard sales and flea markets. For information, call (727) 859-2208 or visit tampabaycat alliance.org.