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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

A Gainesville man riding a motorized tricycle died in an accident on Wednesday, Gainesville Police said.

William C. Thomas, 83, was riding his motorized tricycle eastbound in the right lane of East University Avenue near Morningside Nature Center when he lost control of his vehicle, according to a GPD press release. Thomas flew off of his tricycle and hit the pavement at about 3:19 p.m.

Officers responded to 911 calls from witnesses who saw injured Thomas lying in the street. Responding Gainesville Fire Rescue and GPD members tried to deliver aid to save Thomas’ life, but were unsuccessful, according to the press release. His death was recorded at the scene.

During the traffic homicide investigation, both lanes of eastbound traffic were closed. The Florida Department of Transportation assisted the investigation by detouring eastbound traffic into one of the westbound lanes for about an hour, said Captain Jorge J. Campos, a GPD spokesperson.

Police said Thomas was not wearing a helmet. No other car was involved in the accident, according to the press release.

Campos said police are unsure about how the accident occurred. There are no witnesses who saw Thomas lose control of his tricycle and the incident wasn’t recorded on cameras, Campos said.

“We are still investigating how the accident occurred,” he said.

Campos said the chances of Thomas’ survival would have been higher in the accident if he had worn his helmet.

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