4 killed in Sumter motorcycle crash

March 15, 2010 By: Anthony Colarossi, Orlando Sentinel   Four motorcyclists were killed Saturday night after a GMC truck that was passing another vehicle in Sumter County struck their bikes head on, according to Florida Highway Patrol.   The wreck occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday along County Road 476 near County Road 629, investigators said.   A 1991 GMC truck driven by Paul Sermons, 45, of Bushnell, was passing another truck traveling westbound on C.R. 476.   Meanwhile, two motorcycles were heading eastbound on C.R. 476.   Sermons was passing and tried to slow his vehicle down when he realized the motorcycles were closer than he thought, according to an FHP report. He was unable to slow down soon enough to avoid a collision, however.   His truck struck both motorcycles, ejecting both drivers and both passengers. The passenger from one motorcycle was thrown into the windshield of the truck Sermons had been passing, FHP said.   Sumter County Fire-Rescue pronounced three of the motorcyclists dead at the scene. A fourth was taken to an area hospital and died later.   Motorcycle driver John Holmes, 55, of Beverly Hills, Florida, and his passenger, Patricia Biehayn, 52, of Hernando, were killed, according to the report.   Motorcycle driver William Barker, 54, of Stuart, and his passenger Patrice Poole, 55, of Mount Dora, were also killed in the wreck.   The driver and passenger of a 2003 Dodge truck also involved in the wreck received minor injuries.   FHP said the crash remains under investigation.

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