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Date of Issue: March 08, 2007

Holmes Beach man recovering, no charges in accident

accident pic

A Holmes Beach man was recovering from injuries sustained while he was crossing the street after leaving a trolley Feb. 25 in Holmes Beach.

The accident occurred at about 11:15 a.m. on Palm Drive at the intersection of 68th Street. No charges were filed in the incident.

"There is no law against passing the bus or trolley," said Ralf Heseler, transit manager for Manatee County Area Transit. "As I understand, it the driver did not do anything illegal."

Evan Zappola, 22, of Holmes Beach, had exited the Island trolley and walked in front of the vehicle to cross the street when he was hit by a 1998 Chevrolet van.

The driver of the van, Howard Lloyd Stewart, 67, of Holmes Beach, was traveling northbound. According to a police report, Stewart stopped behind the trolley, also northbound but stopped so passengers could exit. Stewart was passing the trolley when Zappola, at the front of the trolley, ran across the street.

Witnesses said Zappola failed to look as he crossed the street.

Zappola was taken by helicopter to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg in fair condition and has since been released.

Damage to the van was estimated at about $1,500.

Heseler said drivers should, when approaching or traveling behind a bus or trolley, be cautious and anticipate that someone may cross the street.