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Police seek hit and run driver
Two die in separate auto accidents; several others injured

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It took firefighters about 30 minutes to extricate Joel Temple, 32, of 9433 50th Way from his pickup truck Aug. 5. He was treated at Northside Hospital.
PINELLAS PARK – Two people were killed, one by a hit and run driver, and police are still looking for a Toyota van and its blonde, heavyset female driver.

Killed was Arthur Maurer, 58, 9790 66th St., who died at Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, of head and other injuries a day after the Aug. 5 accident.

In the second fatality, Debra Lee Jantschek, 43, who lived in the 6100 block of Park Boulevard died at Northside Hospital of multiple injuries.

Police are searching for the driver who fled the scene after striking Maurer.

Officer Michael Nicholson said Maurer was attempting to cross 66th Street near Park Boulevard when he was struck by the side mirror of a southbound car driven by Heather Forcier of St. Petersburg.

Police said Forcier pulled over and ran to assist the victim who was then struck by a white Toyota van with a gold stripe on the bottom panels. The driver and her passenger allegedly stopped, got out of the vehicle and then sped away southbound on 66th Street.

“The driver probably was not at fault and should not have run away,” Sgt. Paul Andrews of the police services division said.

Police described the vehicle as a white mini-van with three digits of the license plate that might contain “I 7 9.” The van most likely has damage to the front end.

Police described the driver as a heavyset white female in her late 30s or early 40s with shoulder length blonde hair. She was wearing white shorts, a yellow shirt and sandals.

A white male in his late teens or early 20s with blonde hair wearing a white shirt and black pants was a passenger in the van.

Anyone with information should call Officer Nicholson at 541-0758.

In the second vehicle death, police said Jantschek on Aug. 3 was riding her bicycle on Park Boulevard and ran into the path of a car driven by Tracy Lynn Coop, 26, of 6621 Timberwood Circle. She died at Northside Hospital of neck, head and back injuries.

No charges were lodged, pending further investigation.

In a third accident, a Seminole man was critically injured when his motorcycle crashed into a cargo trailer on 49th Street.

In critical condition at Bayfront Medical Center is Randal L. Penrod, 42, of 11748 Oxford St., Seminole.

Officer Edward Day said Penrod was driving south on 49th Street when the trailer being pulled by Christopher P. Alcala, 37, of South Pasadena made a left turn on to the U.S. 19 ramp. The motorcycle crashed into the rear of the trailer.

Police said Alcala was unaware of the accident and continued driving. He called police after seeing a story about the accident on a TV news program.

No charges have been filed, pending the outcome of the investigation.

In yet another mishap, two pickup trucks on Aug. 5 crashed at the intersection of 49th Street and 70th Avenue.

Officer Joseph Doswell said the trucks collided in the middle of the intersection, overturning the one driven by Joel Temple, 32, of 9433 50th Way. It took firefighters about 30 minutes to extricate him from the wreck. The other driver, Frederick Hayes, 31, of Tampa suffered minor injuries.

Temple was treated at Northside Hospital for injuries and released.
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