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Bicyclist dies in early morning crash

The Pinellas Park Beacon: Bicyclist dies in early morning crash

Article published on Friday, Nov. 20, 2009

PINELLAS PARK - A St. Petersburg man died from injuries suffered in an early Friday morning crash on Belcher Road in Pinellas Park.

According to a police report, Stephen R. Caputo, 52, was riding his Schwinn 21-speed bicycle south along the curb of Belcher Road, just south of 118 Avenue about 5 a.m. Nov. 20 when he was struck by a car driven by William J. Colwell, 33, of Tampa.

Colwell’s vehicle reportedly struck the rear of the bicycle sending Caputo back into the windshield and then into the roadway. Colwell stopped after the crash, the report said.

A second vehicle, traveling south on Belcher Road, struck the bicycle, which was still in the roadway, but did not stop. Witnesses described that vehicle as a red Pontiac Firebird.

Pinellas Park Fire Department arrived on the scene about four minutes after the crash and determined the bicycle rider was deceased due to severe head trauma. The bicyclist was not wearing a helmet and may have been wearing headphones.

The bike did have reflective tape attached, a flashlight taped to the handle bars and a small rear light but it is not immediately apparent if the lights were operational at the time of the crash. The rider also was wearing a reflective vest.

Weather conditions were good at the time of the crash and do not appear to be a factor. The driver of the vehicle has told investigators that he just did not see the bicyclist.

Traffic charges are pending further investigation.