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14 injured when man swerves into bicyclists in St. Petersburg

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Old July 9th 03, 05:27 PM
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Default 14 injured when man swerves into bicyclists in St. Petersburg

Driver in bike crash blames water in eyes
Police suspect a medical or mechanical problem after 14 riders
were injured. Test results are expected in six to 10 days.
By ADRIENNE LU, Times Staff Writer
St. Petersburg Times
published July 8, 2003

ST. PETERSBURG - Joseph D. Pastore says he was on the way to
visit his mother Sunday, his driver's window down.


He said that Pastore responded: " "It's just an accident, give me
a break,' or something like that."


Officers interviewed Pastore, 60, after the crash, but they
declined Monday to discuss what he told them.

"He doesn't recall much about the crash," Jockers said.

Pastore, reached Monday at his Pinellas Park home on a quiet
street overlooking a horse pasture, said he was "truly very, very
sorry that it happened."

Pastore said he did not feel guilty because he did not think he
was at fault.

"I'm not saying anything about remorse or guilt. I don't feel any
remorse or guilt," he said. "I'm at peace with myself. . . . I
know this was an accident."

But Ryder, the cyclist, said that after the accident Pastore
displayed no sorrow.

"If I had just run over 15 people, I would be crying," said
Ryder, 49, of Redington Beach. "He had no emotions whatsoever."


Pastore said he had told his version of the events to several
different authorities.

"You can get it from them. The story's the same. I don't need to
put myself out there to defend not being guilty. What other
people think is none of my business."

After reading what he'd said above, I was starting to think he might
have had an insulun reaction. Then I read this:

Pastore, cited for an improper lane change last November, said he
was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of
Sunday's accident. He said he has been sober 19 years.

Pastore has diabetes, he said, and confirmed passing out in his
parked car on Friday because of low blood sugar, as neighbors
have reported.

But he said that he did not sense any medical problems when the
accident happened Sunday. St. Petersburg Police Department
spokesman George Kajtsa said preliminary tests indicated
Pastore's blood-sugar level was normal at the time of the

If it turns out that he did have an insulun reaction or low-blood
sugar after all, he should loose his license. Most diabetics are not
potential killers, but once you have demonstrated an inability to
control your condition, you have to be kept out of potentially
dangerous situations.

If he didn't have low blood sugar, he should go to jail.


"I can't be responsible for other people's lives. I don't have
the power to do that. Life is not always fair, but it is what it

The moment someone takes responsibility for aiming a ton or more of
steel down the road, they are responsible for many other people's
lives. If this driver can't be responsible, then he shouldn't have
the priviledge.


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