Bicyclist (Gregory Gancarz) Dies in in Accident in Largo Florida

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According to statistics, Florida leads the nation in bicycling and pedestrian fatalities. In Largo, Florida, at least the 20th bicyclist was killed within the past year or so while riding on local roads. A report earlier this year about cyclist-vs.-car accidents in Hillsborough County revealed that the blame was split evenly for accidents between 2005 and 2009.
Gregory Gancarz, 55-years-old, was struck and killed by a van on Starkey Road. The police said that the accident occurred in the northbound curb lane in the 1200 block of Starkey Road., and the area of the crash had no streetlights. Investigators also said that the bicyclist did not have a headlight or taillight on the bicycle.
The driver of the van was Lonnie Baumbach, 62 years-old. The police said the van’s speed does not appear to be a factor in the investigation. Baumbach is an independent delivery contractor for the St. Petersburg Times; he has worked for the company for over eight years. The Times’ operations manager for home delivery, Jim Thompson, said that Baumbach had no other driving–related issues or complaints involving his work as an independent contractor.
The Florida Department of Transportation has launched a print, radio, and television campaign to promote pedestrian and bicycle safety. According to the Department of Transportation, the objective of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Program is to promote conditions for safe and effective travel by foot and bicycle in Florida. For more information, see bicyclist killed in Largo accident.

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