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Accident claims the life of teenaged bicyclist in Ruskin

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image A damaged bicycle at the scene of a fatal accident on Monday that claimed the life of an 18-year-old Ruskin girl. Mitch Traphagen Photo

Fatal accident temporarily shut down southbound lanes of U.S. 41 on Monday.

By MITCH TRAPHAGEN

RUSKIN — An accident between a vehicle and a bicycle claimed the life of a teenage girl on Monday.

Jessica Wortman, 18, of Ruskin, had left the Ruskin Recreation Center on 6th Avenue on Monday afternoon and was riding a bicycle across U.S. Highway 41 at the intersection of 14th Avenue SE when Exuperancio Paderog Potane, 51, also of Ruskin, struck her while driving a 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser. Miss Wortman died at the scene.

Sgt. Steve Gaskins of the Florida Highway Patrol stated that the young woman was not a student in an area high school.

According to the FHP, Mr. Paderog-Potane was heading southbound on U.S. 41 when he struck the young woman at approximately 2:04 p.m. as she was riding west across the highway. He was not injured. Because of the accident, the southbound lanes of U.S. 41 were temporarily closed on Monday afternoon at State Road 674.

The accident remains under investigation by the FHP.

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