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Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 13, 2013 at 10:54 AM
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Pilot, 83, hurt in ultralight crash

One person was injured when an ultralight plane crashed in a field Sunday morning in southern Hillsborough County near the Manatee County line.

Eugene Massa, 83, of 4033 Lake Bayshore Drive, Bradenton, was airlifted to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton, Hillsborough Fire Rescue said. Massa, the only person aboard, was alert and talking before being transported, rescuers said.

About 9:30 a.m., Manatee County notified Hillsborough County Fire Rescue that a plane had left Manatee Airport and crashed.

The plane had just taken off, according to the pilot and the tower, but developed engine trouble when it reached about 300 feet, according to Hillsborough Fire Rescue.

The aircraft was found in a cow pasture near 6528 U.S. 41 S., about 500 feet from the highway, Hillsborough Fire Rescue said.

Crews from both counties responded, but found no spilled fuel or fire, according to Hillsborough Fire Rescue. The plane was described as a small, experimental ultralight, fixed-wing aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration is in charge of the investigation.

Motorcyclist tumbles over I-4 bridge, dies

The junction of Interstates 4 and 275 near downtown Tampa was shut down by Florida Highway Patrol troopers Sunday morning after a motorcyclist hit a wall and tumbled over the bridge onto the pavement below.

The 11 a.m. wreck killed the biker, from Denmark, and shut down the heavily traveled exchange for two hours. Troopers reopened the highway by 1:20 p.m. Sunday.

The 46-year-old biker, riding a 2013 Harley Davidson Electra Glide, was westbound on Interstate 4 in the inside lane and tried to move to the right when he lost control and drove off the road onto the paved shoulder.

Troopers said the bike struck the concrete wall, pitching the motorcyclist over the barrier. He fell about 30 feet onto the southbound lanes of Interstate 275, troopers said.

The biker, whose name was not released pending notification of next of kin, died at the scene, troopers said.

Police: Suspect gets cash, red dye pack

Tampa police are looking for a suspect in a bank robbery in North Tampa, and are warning businesses to watch for any money stained red.

About 3 p.m. Thursday, the suspect entered Pilot Bank at 17635 N. Bruce B. Downs Blvd., and demanded money at gunpoint. The teller gave him some money and a dye pack, police said.

The suspect is described as a black male, about 5-foot-3 with a thin build, in his late teens to early 20s. He was last seen wearing a black ski mask with mesh around the mouth and a soft sock-type top, black gloves, long black pants and a long-sleeved black shirt with a hood, police said.

Passenger in motorcycle crash dies

A passenger on a motorcycle that crashed just west of downtown Tampa on Saturday evening died Sunday morning at Tampa General Hospital, authorities said.

The 6:26 p.m. crash happened on Cleveland Street at the Magnolia Avenue intersection, Tampa police said.

The driver of the 2009 Harley Davidson, Kyle John Viticonte, 23, of Ormond Beach, was westbound on Cleveland and lost control as he braked for stopped traffic. The motorcycle slid and the passenger, Matthew Heilman, 24, of Thornwood, N.Y., struck his head on the pavement.

Both were taken to Tampa General, where Heilman died this morning, police said. Viticonte remained in serious condition, police said. Detectives have been unable to talk to Viticonte because of his medical condition.

No charges were immediately filed.

Man riding on car's hood fatally shot

Marion County authorities say a woman who fatally shot her ex-boyfriend seen riding on the hood of her car has not been charged.

A sheriff's office statement says Lamark Tucker Sr., 36, jumped on the car as his ex-girlfriend left her home Saturday. Tucker held on for nearly 10 miles before the woman fired once through the windshield, striking Tucker.

From staff reports

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