Pinellas paramedic dies in motorcycle crash
CLEARWATER - A 33-year-old paramedic died on Monday afternoon after he drove his motorcycle around traffic and struck the side of a sport-utility vehicle at an intersection.Christopher A. Jennings, 33, of 994 16th Way, Palm Harbor, died after the crash, which occurred shortly before 4:30 p.m. Monday at Keene Road and Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, according to Clearwater police.Jennings was northbound on Keene Road on his 2008 Suzuki while a vehicle driven by Inez Ledford, 37, of 8975 62nd St. N., Pinellas Park, was southbound and waiting to turn left, police said. Witnesses said Jennings accelerated past traffic that was slowing for the red light at Gulf-to-Bay and struck the passenger side of Ledford's 2001 Chevrolet Suburban.Jennings was taken to Morton Plant Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to police.The road was closed for about four hours after the crash.Jennings, who had been with Sunstar for four years, worked as an assistant supervisor in the north county hub and also was a SWAT paramedic supporting the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, according to a police release."He was an outstanding employee," said Rob Smith, director of communications for Sunstar. "He loved being a part of EMS. ... Chris will be missed."Jennings worked an EMS job in Georgia before moving to Florida a few years ago, Smith said.