Southbound lanes of U.S. 19 were blocked for a time in Tarpon Springs following a five-car crash but are now open again. HOWARD ALTMAN/TRIBUNE
Published: June 25, 2014
Updated: June 26, 2014 at 01:49 AM
A motorcyclist died Wednesday afternoon after driving into oncoming traffic on U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs. A Tarpon Springs Police Department report states that Orlando resident Thomas Allen Nipper, 38, was riding a 2005 Yamaha motorcycle southbound on U.S. 19 when he crossed the median into northbound lanes. Preliminary investigations had not yet determined any reasoning for Nipper's actions. Around 3:25 p.m. near Tookes Road, Nipper's motorcycle collided head-on with a 2005 Mercury operated by Palm Harbor resident Robert Calaceto, 60. Calaceto was transported to Mease Countryside Hospital, where he was reported to be in stable condition. Nipper was pronounced dead after being flown to Bayfront Medical Center.
Northbound U.S. 19 lanes were closed at Klostermann Road following the wreck, causing heavy traffic congestion that spread throughout area roads into Wednesday evening. The motorcycle vs. car accident was actually the second of the day on U.S. 19 in Tarpon Springs that cause lane closures. Southbound lanes were closed to traffic following a five-car crash near Spruce Street around 7:45 a.m. No serious injuries were reported in the earlier accident, police say. Suncoast News reporter Eric Horchy contributed to this report