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Motor-scooter rear-ended on U.S. 19, rider hospitalized

The 22-year-old rider was seriously injured. His motor scooter caught fire after the crash, according to Pinellas Park police.
Heavy southbound traffic along the Bayside Bridge Thursday in Clearwater.
Heavy southbound traffic along the Bayside Bridge Thursday in Clearwater. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Oct. 24, 2019|Updated Oct. 25, 2019

PINELLAS PARK — A 22-year-old man was seriously injured Thursday when a car rear-ended his motor scooter on U.S. 19, according to police.

The crash took place at about 6 a.m. in the 11700 block of U.S. 19. Diego Alburqueque, of Largo, was riding a 2015 Kaitong motor scooter south on U.S. 19, according to Pinellas Park police.

Shane Banfield, 44, of Largo, was driving a 2014 Chevy Impala right behind the scooter. Then the sedan struck the scooter from behind, police said, throwing Alburqueque onto the roadway. The scooter also caught fire.

Alburqueque was rushed to Bayfront Health St. Petersburg hospital as a “trauma” patient and was reported to be in stable condition later that day. The crash caused massive back-ups along U.S. 19 and nearby roads.

Banfield remained at the crash scene and cooperated with investigators. There were no indications of impairment, police said. Investigators are trying to determine whether speed or vehicle lighting contributed to the crash. Police did not say how fast the vehicles were traveling at the time of the crash, or if the scooter rider was wearing a helmet.

Anyone who witnessed the crash is asked to call the Pinellas Park Police Department at (727) 369-7864.


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