On Wednesday, January 30th, a 20-year-old man from Lutz lost his life after an early morning motorcycle crash on State Road 54 in Wesley Chapel.
Darren Richard Derby was travelling west on a Suzuki GSX-R600 in the outside lane of S.R. 54 close to Oakley Boulevard at 7:05 am, according to a Florida Highway Patrol report. At the same moment, Kayla Lancaster, age 22, of Wesley Chapel, was heading eastbound on the same road. Lancaster stopped to turn left onto northbound Oakley Boulevard. According to the accident report, she waited at the intersection for a van in the inside westbound lane to pass. She then turned left, crossing into the path of the motorcycle. Derby slammed into the left side of the Mazda that Lancaster was driving.
Derby was ejected from the motorcycle, the accident report states. Despite the fact he was wearing a helmet, Derby suffered severe traumatic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency rescue units. An investigation is ongoing. It was not made clear whether Lancaster was cited in connection with the accident. Statistically, the majority of fatal accidents between a motorcycle and another vehicle involve a car or truck that turns left in front of the oncoming/approaching motorcycle rider.