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Michael Graziano dies from injuries from April 3 wreck

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 03:16 AM

The tortured Graziano family suffered another cruel setback Friday when 24-year-old Michael Graziano died from injuries he received in a car crash earlier this month.

The family had first come to public attention four years ago when 23-year-old John Graziano was injured while in a car driven by Hulk Hogan's son.

The April 3 crash that claimed the life of John's brother, Michael, was eerily similar to the wreck that seriously injured John Graziano.

Both were passengers in cars that were speeding and lost control; both suffered serious head injuries and were taken to Bayfront Medical Center.

"It's devastating," Graziano family attorney George Tragos said Friday night. "It's more than one family should endure. But they continue asking for prayers to get them through it."

Michael Graziano was the passenger in a 1994 Volvo that hit a dump truck about 3 a.m. in Largo. Neither he nor the driver was wearing a seat belt, the Florida Highway Patrol said. Alcohol did not appear to be involved.

The Volvo, driven by Cameron Richard Bosley, 24, of Dunedin, was westbound on Ulmerton Road at a high rate of speed, troopers said. They tried to overtake the dump truck at 66th Street North, and the front of the Volvo hit the back of the truck, troopers said.

The Florida Highway Patrol released a statement Friday night saying that with the death of Michael Graziano, the accident has been turned over to the agency's traffic homicide division for investigation.

FHP spokesman Sgt. Steve Gaskins said Bosley was driving "at a high rate of speed'' on the road, which has a posted speed limit of 45 mph.

He said the investigation will take three months or more, noting investigators must wait for toxicology and autopsy reports.

"A myriad of questions are flowing out there," Gaskins said. "It's critical to understand that we are not delaying anything for any reason other than to get all the information."

In the 2007 crash, John Graziano was the passenger in a car driven by Nick Bollea, wrestling great Hulk Hogan's son. John's mother, Debra, has been caring for him at home since.

John's crash was the beginning of dark times for the Dunedin family. The public witnessed the disintegration of the family, including a fight between Michael and his father, Ed, in the hospital where John was being treated; the plot by Ed Graziano to kill Debra, his estranged wife; and the court case against the Bollea family. Hulk Hogan's given name is Terry Bollea.

The Bollea crash sparked a legal battle between the Grazianos and the Bolleas. The Grazianos sought millions of dollars, which they said they intended to use for John's medical care. The case played itself out on television and in tabloids across the nation. The sides settled out of court in 2010.

Nick Bollea pleaded guilty to reckless driving and served 166 days of an eight-month sentence at the Pinellas County Jail.

About 18 months after the Bollea crash, Ed Graziano was charged in a plot to hire someone to kill his wife. In 2011, Ed Graziano pleaded no contest to solicitation to commit murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years' probation.

In an interview in November, Debra Graziano said the case involving John robbed the family of its anonymity and left her son needing constant care, but she felt no ill will toward the Bollea family.

"I have so many things to deal with, so many layers of issues," Debra Graziano said. "If I allow myself to feel anger and bitterness, I would not be able to have a drop of joy in me."

After eight months of hospital treatment and two years of rehabilitation, John Graziano, an Iraq war veteran, returned home and remains under the care of his mother, brother and sister, Christin.


Information from Tribune archives was used in this report.

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