TAMPA — As dawn broke one recent morning, a surgeon and a banker approached a curve in a New Tampa road from opposite directions.
Adam Hasebroock, a 43-year-old bank branch manager and avid triathlete, had rolled out on his bike early Nov. 4 to log some training miles and was pedaling south on Lizards Tail Road. Philip Henkin, a Tampa neurosurgeon with a penchant for breaking the speed limit, hurtled north in a Tesla sedan.
The Tesla came out on the wrong side of the road, police say, and struck Hasebroock head-on.
A traffic homicide detective would later write in an arrest report that, based in part on Hasebroock’s catastrophic injuries, Henkin was driving at least three times the posted speed limit of 20 mph .
Recently released court documents, identifying Hasebroock as the bicyclist and providing new details in the case, show the detective was right.
Impact at 80 mph
A graduate of Leto High School in Tampa, Hasebroock majored in wellness leadership at the University of South Florida, where he got his bachelor’s degree, said Candi Ashley, a USF professor who had Hasebroock in a few classes. The major is now known as exercise science.
Hasebroock ultimately chose a career in banking, but he remained a passionate and successful triathlete, said Ashley, a triathlete herself who competed in events with Hasebroock.
“I think he really liked to challenge himself and push himself, and that was a way for him to do that,” Ashley said. She described Hasebroock as upbeat, caring and supportive.
Hasebroock married in 2007 and he and wife Yvette bought a home in New Tampa. By 2011, Hasebroock had already served as a branch manager for three banks, according to his LinkedIn profile. He started with Regions Bank in 2011 as a branch team leader for the Bearss Avenue branch, the job he held when he set out for a ride the morning of Nov. 4.
A two-lane road along the west side of Interstate 75 that sees little traffic, Lizards Tail Road should be among the safer options for cycling compared to other streets in the area. The campus of financial services company USAA is on the south end of the road, just north of West Tampa Palms Boulevard. That’s a few miles south of Hasebroock’s home and he was approaching that area when the crash happened at around 7:32 a.m., about 10 minutes before sunrise.
Henkin was driving north in a 2016 Tesla Model S as he approached a sweeping curve in the road near Park Centre Drive, which accesses the USAA campus, court documents say. Lizards Tail Road is roughly three lanes wide there, though there are no center line markings.
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Video captured by a security camera at an entrance to USAA shows the car “apexing” the curve “to such a degree that the Tesla was fully in the southbound lane of travel,” according to two search warrant affidavits filed in the case.
The video shows Hasebroock riding south near the center of the roadway, the lights on the front and rear of his bike flashing. As the Tesla came out of the curve, it struck Hasebroock head on, killing him instantly, the affidavits say. The car then veered off the pavement, spun 180 degrees and struck some trees on the right side of the road.
The force of the crash punched a hole in the Tesla’s windshield on the driver’s side, and body camera video from an officer who responded to the crash showed large amounts of blood on Henkin’s arm and on the blue medical scrubs he was wearing, court documents say.
Henkin, who turned 59 on Tuesday, told police the Model S was a loaner vehicle owned by Tesla and he was on his way to work. He said he believed he was traveling the speed limit, which he thought to be 35 or 40 mph, records say.
The next day, Tampa police Detective James Snell wrote up a warrant affidavit for Henkin’s arrest on a vehicular homicide charge.
In an affidavit seeking a search warrant for the Tesla’s event data recorder, Snell wrote that he used a “time/distance analysis” of the video to determine the car was traveling in excess of 100 mph just prior to the crash. Data from the event recorder showed the car was moving about 83 mph a half-second before impact, records say.
Henkin turned himself in two days after the crash, was booked into jail and released about nine hours later after posting $7,500 bail. Records show he lives in Avila, an upscale, gated golf and country club community in north Tampa.
Henkin did not return a message left at his office. His attorney, John Lauro, declined to comment on the details of the case.
“Our prayers and compassionate thoughts go to those who have lost a loved one,” Lauro said in an email. “We want to be very respectful during this time of grieving and reflection.”
The website for the NeuroSpine Center calls Henkin a “groundbreaking neurosurgeon” who has been practicing in Florida for close to two decades. The site says Henkin specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and complex spinal reconstruction and that he is “the market share leader in Hillsborough County in spine surgery based on inpatient admission statistics.”
Henkin also has a history of getting stopped for driving over the posted speed limit, state and county records show.
On March 3, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper clocked Henkin driving 112 mph in a four-door Porsche as he drove south on Interstate 75 near Apollo Beach. He faced a potential fine of $353, but the case was later dismissed.
In 2018, a deputy wrote Henkin a ticket for driving the Porsche 78 mph in a 50 mph zone on U.S. 41 in Lutz. A judge ordered him to pay a fine and complete a 12-hour advanced driver-improvement course
Two years before that, a Tampa police officer clocked him driving the Porsche 87 mph in a 55 mph zone on the Crosstown Expressway. That case was also dismissed.
Records show Henkin is no longer eligible to take a driver-improvement course to avoid points on his license because he has reached the limit of five courses in a lifetime.
Now, in the crash that killed Hasebroock, Henkin faces a potential second-degree felony charge punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The Hillsborough State Attorney’s Office has not yet filed charges in the case.
Athlete road deaths
An attorney for Yvette Hasebroock, Jim Magazine, said she and other family members are withholding comment on Hasebroock’s death while police and the State Attorney’s Office investigate.
In condolences left on the Dignity Memorial website, family, friends and customers described Hasebroock as a man who loved his family and God.
“Unfortunately, people of Adam’s exceptional character and integrity are not very prevalent in this world,” Karen Matera wrote. “He was always so genuine and kind without fail.”
“The last words to me were ‘I love talking to you,’” his mother Gail Thomas wrote. “Me too, Adam, me too.”
A funeral service is set for 2 p.m. Dec. 3 at Blount and Curry Funeral Home, 3207 Bearss Ave. in Carrollwood.
Hasebroock is at least the third athlete killed recently on Tampa Bay roads.
On Oct. 13, 60-year-old triathlete Sherry Nowotarski was riding her bicycle across the Park Boulevard Bridge in Pinellas County when, according to friends riding with her, she rode into a groove on the shoulder of the drawbridge, lost control and fell into the right lane, where she was struck by a passing car. She died three days later.
Thomas Murtaugh, 78, was running on the Pinellas Trail on Nov. 1 when he was struck by a car in a crosswalk on Skinner Boulevard in Dunedin, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. Murtaugh died four days later. He was an active member of the West Florida Y Running Club, his obituary says, and people who knew him described him on social media as kind and encouraging. The case is still open and a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office did not have information this week about whether a citation has been issued.
Their deaths serve as a reminder of the dangers athletes face every day while navigating local roads, said Leo Briceno, a Clearwater swim coach who knew all three. Briceno first met Hasebroock and his twin brother Andrew when they competed in local triathlons.
Briceno is organizing a “One Community” celebration of life next month to pay tribute to Nowotarski, Murtaugh and Hasebroock and others who have died or been injured on the area’s roads. It’s set for 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Dec. 26 on the beach near the Clearwater Sailing Center, 1001 Gulf Blvd.
“This has been such an awful year, we’ve lost so much,” Briceno said. “You learn not to take anybody or anything for granted.”