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Two die in Odessa after motorcycle strikes driver’s side of SUV

A motorcyclist was speeding on eastbound State Road 54 when an SUV crossed the lanes to make a lefthand turn, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

ODESSA — Two men died Tuesday after a speeding motorcycle crashed into the driver’s side of an SUV on State Road 54, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The crash took place about 12:05 p.m. on S.R. 54 and Altamont Lane, west of the Suncoast Parkway.

A 20-year-old Odessa man driving an SUV was headed north on Altamont Lane. He stopped at the stop sign at S.R. 54, then entered the eastbound lanes of S.R. 54 as he tried to turn left onto the westbound lanes, according to the Highway Patrol.

At the same time, troopers say a 21-year-old Wesley Chapel man was operating a motorcycle at a “high rate of speed” and headed east on S.R. 54. when the SUV entered his path.

The motorcyclist struck the driver’s side of the SUV as it crossed the eastbound lanes, according to the Highway Patrol.

The 21-year-old motorcyclist died at the scene. He was wearing his helmet at the time of the crash.

The 20-year-old SUV driver was taken to a hospital, where he died of his injuries. He was wearing his seatbelt.

The Highway Patrol did not release the names of either man because of its interpretation of Marsy’s Law, a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2018. The law is meant to protect crime victims, but it deprives the public of information that had long been made available in Florida under the state’s public records law.