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Amber Alert

Friday, January 25, 2008

Motorcyclist dies in crash with big rig in St. Lucie County

A tractor-trailer driver attempting a U-turn Thursday morning on U.S. 1 caused a traffic accident that killed a 49-year-old Vero Beach motorcyclist and blocked traffic on the highway for hours, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Because of heavy fog, Timothy Powers was unable to see and avoid the big rig without being thrown from his motorcycle, said Lt. Tim Frith, FHP spokesman.

The driver of the tractor-trailer, 41-year-old Florida City resident Felix Villa, was not injured, Frith said.

Frith said the accident occurred about 6:30 a.m. when Villa, driving south on the highway, missed his turn onto Indrio road, attempted a U-turn over the grass median but couldn't complete the turn because of signs on the side of the road.

Frith said the trailer, a flatbed containing palm trees, blocked all southbound lanes. Powers, traveling south on U.S. 1, tried to safely lay down his motorcycle but was thrown off and struck the side of the truck.

Powers was not wearing a helmet and died at the scene, Frith said.

Frith said a criminal investigation is on-going but no charges had been filed by late Thursday evening.

St. Lucie County Fire District Spokeswoman Catherine Whitaker said officials were not able to send a trauma helicopter to the accident scene because of the fog. Source