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Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014

Police seek help in Clearwater bicycle hit-and-run


Published:   |   Updated: September 5, 2013 at 06:16 AM

CLEARWATER — Police are asking for the public’s help in their investigation of a Labor Day wreck in which investigators say a Clearwater man hit a Largo couple riding a tandem bicycle with his pickup and then drove away.

Christopher Patrick Weed, 29, of 810 Hall St., was arrested Tuesday on one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving death and one count of leaving the scene of an accident involving serious injuries. He is being held at the Pinellas County Jail, with bail set at $15,000.

Weed was driving his 1997 Nissan pickup on Memorial Causeway about 6:15 a.m. Monday when he hit the tandem bicycle being ridden by 25-year-old Robert Lemon and his girlfriend, 27-year-old Hilary Michalak, both of whom are from Largo. Weed drove away without stopping, investigators said.

The couple were riding in the eastbound right curb lane when they were struck from behind by Weed’s pickup, according to arrest reports.

“He just left these people there,” Clearwater Police Chief Anthony Holloway said.

Lemon and Michalak were found by a passing motorist. Lemon died Monday afternoon at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa; Michalak remains in critical condition at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg.

Police said Lemon and Michalak were seen in a security video near the beach about 6:10 a.m.; soon after, a green pickup was seen in the same area.

A tipster called CrimeStoppers to say Weed might have been the driver, police said.

On Tuesday, Weed approached police to say his truck may have involved in the crash, according to a police spokesman.

Weed told investigators he had “blacked out” after driving home from his job at Shepherd’s Beach Resort and doesn’t remember anything until he woke up in the shower Monday, police said.

He was arrested Tuesday evening at his mother’s house in Clearwater after police found his pickup — minus a windshield — in his backyard.

Police are asking anyone who witnessed the wreck or saw Weed immediately before or after the crash to call (727) 562-4242.

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