A homeless man, known in the area for dressing as Santa Claus and greeting passers-by along U.S. 19, was killed Monday night after he was struck by a car while crossing the roadway in Hudson.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 49-year-old James Kenneth Bryant was walking westbound across U.S. 19, near Beacon Woods Drive, just before 9 p.m. when he crossed into the path of a northbound 2000 Toyota Avalon driven by Nicholas Giovinazzi, 27, of Wesley Chapel.
Bryant, who was not wearing his Santa Claus outfit at the time of the crash, died at the scene, the FHP said.
Last week, he told Tampa Tribune photographer Andy Jones that his favorite part of Christmas, “besides making the little old ladies bring me cookies, is looking at the little kids and, I know you, you be good for goodness sake. That’s more important than anything else.”
Alcohol was not a factor in the crash, the FHP said.