On Friday, October 25th, two Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies
were seriously injured in a crash that occurred during a routine traffic
stop on Interstate 75 just outside of Sun City Center.
According to a statement issued by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s
office, Captain Steve Launikitis and Master Deputy Chris Davis had stopped
a motorcyclist and were both standing on the grass shoulder to speak with
him. As the group was talking, a second motorcyclist passed closely and
struck both deputies.
Further details provided by the sheriff’s office indicated that the
second rider failed to see the deputies. The rider was not thrown from
the motorcycle and successfully brought the bike to a stop after the collision.
Both sheriffs’ deputies were conscious and alert as they were taken
to Tampa General Hospital that Friday morning. Traffic authorities shut
down the southbound lanes of the interstate to facilitate a thorough investigation
of the accident scene. Police did not provide any further comment as to
what may have caused the second motorcycle rider to drift so close to
the shoulder. It was not clear whether either rider was issued a traffic
citation by deputies.
Motorcycle safety experts advise motorcyclists to ride in the “A”
position of a lane at all times, except when making turns. The A position
is closer to the left-hand side of any particular lane, away from the
shoulder. Any further details behind the accident are pending investigation
and no criminal charges are expected to be filed in connection with the incident.