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Bicyclist Killed on Suncoast Trail

He was hit while trying to cross SR 54 early this morning.

A Land O’ Lakes man was hit and and killed at about 6:30 Monday morning while riding his bike on the Suncoast Trail.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, Andres Manuel Ortega, 43, was traveling north on the trail, which runs parallel to the Suncoast Parkway. While trying to cross State Road 54, Ortega rode into the path of a rock-hauler tractor trailer.

The collision ejected Ortega from the bicycle, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash and resulting investigation closed portions of State Road 54 for three hours.

The incident remains under investigation, according to the report.

Terri Dusek March 13, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Somehow, a message needs to get out to cyclists and walkers that they are not easily seen by oncoming cars especially at dusk and dawn. Not only has this person lost their life but the driver of the other vehicle has to know for the rest of his life that he hit and killed someone. I have had people step out in front of me thinking they have the right away when they don't.
Amy Maseda March 14, 2012 at 12:43 AM
it's terribly sad....i passed the scene that morning and can't get it out of my head and heart. I wonder if his mistake was related to the time change and not being used to the dark mornings. My prayers to this man's family.
Gretchen March 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Witnesses reported the truck driver driving like a maniac just before the accident and reported he had the light/the right of way & the driver was JUMPING the almost green light. In the dark it's more likely she didn't see HIM not the other way around. I saw the scene too and will never forget it. I'm praying for his family.

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