- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 6, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — A motorist swerved over the center lane in a no-passing zone yesterday and plowed into a group of oncoming bicyclists, injuring 14 of them, officials said.

Joseph Pastore, 60, said he was trying to pass a slow-moving car when he struck the group on a two-lane residential road, said police spokesman George Kajtsa.

The 25 to 30 bicyclists were members of two clubs on a weekly outing.

It was not clear how fast Mr. Pastore was traveling or if his driver’s license was valid. Mr. Kajtsa said investigators questioned him and initiated tests to see if he was impaired by alcohol or medication.

Ten bicyclists were in fair or serious condition at Bayfront Medical Center, said hospital spokeswoman Vicky Burkhart.

Others were taken to Tampa General Hospital, St. Petersburg General Hospital and Northside Hospital, Mr. Kajtsa said. There was no immediate response to calls seeking the patients’ conditions yesterday.

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