Motorcyclist dies after Hillsborough Co. crash

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A 19-year-old motorcyclist died in a crash Sunday in Hillsborough County, deputies say.

According to the sheriff’s office, Melvin Cline Ford Jr. was driving his father’s 2001 blue and white Suzuki motorcycle, traveling westbound on Lithia Pinecrest Road, as Leroy Newton Purk was operating his 1988 Mazda Protg, traveling in the opposite direction.

Deputies say Purk was unable to see the motorcycle and turned left into its path. The motorcycle struck the passenger side of Purk’s Mazda and the vehicle overturned.

Ford was ejected from the motorcycle and sustained fatal injuries. He was transported to Lakeland Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Purk sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was sent to Tampa General Hospital for treatment.

Witnesses say Ford was traveling at speeds of 80 to 100 miles per hour shortly before the crash.

No further details have been released at this time.

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