Southpinellas: Driver won't face criminal charges in bicyclists crash
Driver won't face criminal charges in bicyclists crash
Joseph Pastore had no criminal intent and wasn't on screened-for drugs when his car struck 14 bicyclists, officers say. He is cited for careless driving.
By LEANORA MINAI
Published July 17, 2003
ST. PETERSBURG - No criminal charges will be filed against a driver who barrelled into a pack of bicyclists this month, injuring 14 of them.
Blood tests show Joseph Pastore was not on any drugs for which drivers are routinely screened during DUI investigations, though his poor health and prescription medications could have caused him to blackout moments before the crash July 6, police said Wednesday.
Pastore, 60, was cited for careless driving and must appear in traffic court Aug. 5. Police will ask the judge to order a driving test and medical exam to determine whether Pastore is fit to drive.
"There was no criminal intent," said Officer Mike Jockers, traffic homicide investigator. "There were no impairing factors in his blood."
Several cyclists remained hospitalized Wednesday.
"It was an accident," Pastore said. "This wasn't like I got up that morning and thought, "Maybe I'll go plow down 14 bicyclists.' "
Cyclists, some with the St. Petersburg Bike Club or the St. Pete Mad Dog Triathlon Club, are angry Pastore is still allowed to drive, though his license could be suspended during the August hearing.
"There's no reason that guy couldn't go out tomorrow and do the exact same thing," said Barrie Coates, St. Pete Mad Dog Triathlon Club president.
"Obviously, he has a problem. I don't know if it's drugs or alcohol or medication or whatever. Normal people do not pass out in their cars or hit cyclists."