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Vehicle: 2001 Suzuki
Driver: Melvin Cline Ford Jr. (deceased)
5736 Connell Rd.
Plant City, FL
Vehicle: 1998 Mazda Protege
Driver: Leroy Newton Purk (non-life threatening injuries)
9330 County Line Road
On July 16, 2017 at 1:33 p.m., Melvin Cline Ford Jr. was operating his father's 2001 blue and white Suzuki motorcycle westbound on Lithia Pinecrest Road approaching Allen Road. Mr. Ford was operating the motorcycle at a high rate of speed as witnesses stated he passed them at speeds of 80 miles per hour to 100 miles per hour approximately a tenth of a mile from the crash scene. Leroy Newton Purk was operating his 1998 black Mazda Protege eastbound on Lithia Pinecrest Road. Mr. Purk did not see the motorcycle and began to initiate a left turn in front of the motorcycle. The motorcycle struck the passenger side of the Mazda causing the Mazda to rotate and overturn onto its passenger side. Mr. Ford was displaced from the motorcycle. Mr. Ford was wearing a helmet and was transported to Lakeland Regional Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. Mr. Purk was transported to Tampa General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.