ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-- It is a nightmarish scenario that took the life of a man riding his bicycle in St. Petersburg today.
Police say the 54-year-old victim was simply waiting for the light to change at the intersection of 34th Street and 13th Avenue when a pair of cars plowed into each other - and then him.
Neighbors say even beforetoday's fatal accident they'd describethe St. Pete intersection as dangerous.
"It's a bad intersection," said John Meier, who'd had a wreck at this same spot just a few weeks ago.
Police say David Formato III was sitting sitting on his bicycle, ready to cross the busy roadway,when a collision between a white KIA4-door and a green Honda Accordspun out of controldirectly at Formato.
The Honda, forced against a power pole, crushed Formato, killing him instantly.
Police say he was an innocent bystanderin the wrong place at the wrong time.
"It doesn't look like he was doing anything wrong at the time he was struck," said Puetz.
"I would say speeding caused this accident. The guy on the bike had nowhere to go and tragically he's the one that lost his life," said witness Todd Magin.
Magin says he watched in horroras the accident unfolded right in front of him. Almost as if it was in slow motion, he says, helplessto doanything about it.
"The lady in the car was knocked out, but when she came to, she was screaming," said Magin. "It was really a horrible thing."
Neighbors hope that the wreck will convince traffic officials to take a closer look at the troubledintersection, which they say is notorious for accidents.
"Quite often," said Meier,who lives only a couple of blocks away.
During his accident, he sayshis car was the one that got broadsided and that hiswife, Doris, wasbadly injured.
"Six broken ribs, and a punctured lung and a broken collar bone," he said.
Police say, in this case, the driver of the KIA appears to have hit the Honda as it tried to turn left off 34th Street onto 13th Ave.
As for the intersection itself, investigators say they understand people who live and work around here may consider it a problem. But it's only as dangerous, say police, as the drivers who pass through it.
"The rules of the road never change wherever you go and the bottom line is you have to yield to oncoming traffic," said Puetz.
The cause of the crash is still being investigated.
The drivers of the cars involved in the accident were taken to a local hospital, but their injuries did not appear to be life threatening.