Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
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Passenger thrown from car on Spring Hill Drive


Published:   |   Updated: February 26, 2014 at 06:42 PM

SPRING HILL - Traffic shut down briefly on Spring Hill Drive Wednesday after a passenger was thrown from a Honda Civic.

Michael E. Nowak, 19, landed in the turn lane on Spring Hill Drive and Persian Avenue and was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point with serious injuries.

A pair of black shoes were discarded on the side of the road and belonged to the victim, according to bystanders.

The car was being driven by Kristian Valenzano, 18, who lost control and started rotating after hitting a wet patch of pavement. Valenzano collided with a Ford Mustang driven by Rebecca Rockwell, 40, and then a Honda Accord driven by Amanda Baker, 17.

None of the other drivers were seriously injured, according to the FHP.

Valenzano was ticketed for careless driving, a report shows. One of his passengers, a 17-year-old man, fled in the woods after the crash, and was later apprehended and arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia by the sheriff's office, according to FHP Sgt. Steve Gaskins.

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