1. Tampa

The two bikers involved in fatal I-4 crash were friends, victim's family says

The men, both from Riverview, had been traveling east on Interstate 4 on Friday at about 3:30 p.m. when their bikes collided, sending one of them over the side of the overpass.
Where the accident occurred on Interstate 4.
Published Feb. 16

TAMPA — Before Friday, Eric Jordan and Aaron Davis were just two friends who enjoyed the road.

"They were just out riding around, two inexperienced motorcycle riders," said Roger Lavalley, 49, Jordan's uncle. "And an accident happened."

The men, both from Riverview, had been traveling east on Interstate 4 that day at about 3:30 p.m. when their bikes collided.

Jordan, 35, was thrown from his Yamaha over the side of the interstate and fell 100 feet to the ground, onto N 50th Street, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He later died from his injuries at Tampa General Hospital.

Davis, 29, pulled over his Kawasaki and looked down from the overpass, as shown in a recording of the incident circulating on social media Saturday. Then he left the scene, state troopers said, leaving behind his female passenger, 30-year-old Amy Renee Jones of Dover, who told troopers that she "barely knew" the man.

The Highway Patrol called the incident a hit-and-run because Davis left. Troopers had been asking the public to help find him before investigators identified him and he contacted them. But Lavalley doesn't think Davis is a villain, and he doesn't think the collision was intentional.

"They were real good friends. It wasn't road rage or anything like that," Lavalley said.

He added, "I don't think Aaron should get 100 percent of the blame."

That's because both Davis and Jordan were weaving through traffic that afternoon, the footage spreading online shows. As the two bikes got to the right lane on Interstate 4, Jordan appeared to clip the back tire of Davis' motorcycle, which sent Jordan toward the wall and over the side.

Friends of both men emphasized on social media that the incident appeared to have been an accident. Jordan had only been riding motorcycles for about a year, Lavalley said. He may have been taking after his father, Billy Jordan, who was Lavalley's brother. Lavalley said the elder Jordan rode motorcycles before he died in 2012.

Lavalley described his nephew as a polite, good-natured man. He found it hard to say much more so soon after the crash, especially because he had taught Jordan as a boy how to ride a bicycle, he said.

"He knew the dangers," Lavalley said of his nephew taking up motorcycle riding. "But that slips away once you get out riding, having fun."

As of Saturday night, Davis hadn't been arrested. But troopers said he could face charges for leaving the scene.

Times senior researcher Caryn Baird and staff writers Howard Altman and Jamal Thalji contributed to this report. Contact Justin Trombly at Follow @JustinTrombly.


  1. Larry Hoffman a Hillsborough County code enforcement officer, prepares to inspect a property that is currently uninhabitable in Brandon, Florida on Wednesday, October 23, 2019. Code enforcement officers encounter an array of scenarios during a typical workday, including trashed homes, illegal building or dumping. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Lawrence Hoffman says that being able to defuse tense situations with angry homeowners is his best weapon.
  2. 2 hours ago• Hillsborough
    Lynn Cristina is a Wesley Chapel momma with two girls and works full time as a marketing manager. Courtesy of Lynn Cristina
    Please be gentle with your friends who have strong-willed daughters who sabotage the morning routine of getting dressed in the morning.
  3. Prominent Democrat Alex Sink is backing Kevin Beckner in the Democratic clerk of court primary against Doug Bakke.
    In a news release, Sink praised Beckner’s qualifications as a former county commissioner and financial planner.
  4. Officers arrived and helped treat the wounded man. Then he was rushed to a hospital.
  5. Lithia Motors Inc. has acquired three dealerships from the Williams Automotive Group including Wesley Chapel Toyota near the Interstate 75 and State Road 54 interchange in Wesley Chapel. [Times (2007]
    Wesley Chapel Toyota, Wesley Chapel Honda and Tampa Honda dealerships change hands
  6. Tampa-based consumer data company Bridge is working to solve a specialty retailing problem that goes back to the end of Prohibition, and it’s getting help from venture capitalists at Florida Funders.
    Bridge specializes in providing detailed consumer data that helps producers of liquor, beer and wine target their advertising.
  7. Sam M. Gibbons federal courthouse in downtown Tampa. [Times photo]
    Federal prosecutors accused Roberta Guedes of aggravated identity theft and mail fraud related to the establishment of what they say were two bogus law firms. Guedes agreed to plead guilty last month.
  8. Cigar aficionado Kellan Webster, 48, from Conway, S.C., visits King Corona Cigars Bar and Cafe in Ybor City for the first time. The historic spot will now soon have a sister location at International Plaza. [Times (2017)] Tampa Bay Times
    The Ybor staple has been under new ownership since 2017.
  9. Andrew Morrow, 67, an Army veteran, has a place to live through Operation Reveille and the Tampa-Hillsborough Homeless Coalition. Some days, Morrow said, he would wake up crying after a night on the streets. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
    Through Operation Reveille, advocates spend the year finding housing for Hillsborough’s homeless veterans. Their numbers have fallen since it launched in 2014.
  10. Check for the latest breaking news and updates. Tampa Bay Times
    Her Honda Accord caught fire after the crash near the North Nebraska Avenue overpass, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.