Police make arrest in tandem bicycle hit-and-run
Jane Bongo | Editor
Published: September 4, 2013   |
Updated: September 4, 2013 at 04:48 PM
CLEARWATER– City police have made an arrest in a Labor Day morning hit-and-run that killed one bicyclist and critically injured another.
On Tuesday, police arrested Christopher Patrick Weed, 29, of 840 Hall St., on felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and leaving the scene of an accident involving death. Police say Weed was driving a green 1997 Nissan pickup that struck the tandem bicycle and then drove off.
A video near the roundabout on Clearwater Beach shows the bicycle at 6:10 a.m., police said. Two minutes later, the pickup is seen in the video at the same location. Minutes later, the tandem bicycle was struck on Memorial Causeway just east of the Island Way intersection and west of the bridge.
Police said they received an anonymous tip that led them to Weed, who works at one of the beach hotels. The suspect said he wasn't aware that he'd hit the bicycle, according to city police.
Hillary C. Michalak, 27, and Robert W. Lemon, 25, both of 601 Rosery Road, Apt. 2952, Largo, were riding the bicycle built for two when it was hit.
Michalak was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where she was listed in critical condition on Wednesday morning. Lemon was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, where he died early Tuesday.
A passing motorist, who notified police, found a set of handlebars in the eastbound curb lane of Memorial Causeway, investigators said, and the tandem bicycle was in the bike lane in the area of Island Way. Michalak and Lemon were in the grassy area off the roadway, about 50 feet apart, authorities said.
Weed was taken to the Pinellas County Jail after his arrest. His bail was set at $10,000 on the charge involving death and $5,000 on the injury charge. He was in the process of being released late Wednesday afternoon.