Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Starke Man Dies in Truck Crash

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Starke Man Dies in Truck Crash

Article excerpt

A Starke man died yesterday after the pickup truck he was in

collided with a tractor-trailer in northwest Jacksonville.

Police said Eddie Smith, 52, was pronounced dead at the scene

at Bulls Bay Highway and Commonwealth Avenue at 8:15 a.m.

Police said Smith was riding in a pickup being driven east on

Commonwealth Avenue by Jessie Brooks, 55, of Starke, when the

accident occurred. The pickup collided with a northbound

tractor-trailer, which was being driven on Bulls Bay Highway by

Mark Scott, 34, of Kissimmee.

Brooks and passenger James Aldridge, 40, of Starke, were

injured and taken to University Medical Center. They were listed

in serious condition. Scott was taken to St. Vincent's Center

and listed in fair condition.

IN THE COURTS

FIRE SUSPECT SENTENCED: A convicted felon who was tied to a rash

of downtown Jacksonville fires in 1995 has been sentenced to 10

years in prison for burglarizing an Orange Park restaurant.

Calvin Ryan Joppy, 36, was declared a habitual offender and

received the maximum sentence, Assistant State Attorney Bram

Scharf said yesterday.

Joppy was convicted Nov. 21 of burglarizing Buddy's Baja

Broiler in August. In the burglary, Joppy took a money bag

containing $20 and two boxes of cigarettes.

Joppy has been arrested at least 12 times since 1982 on charges

including burglary, theft, trespassing, aggravated battery and

drug possession. In July 1995, he was charged with two counts of

arson and one count of burglary in connection with fires in two

vacant buildings in downtown Jacksonville.

Authorities said Joppy wasn't responsible for all 17 fires

under investigation at the time in the downtown, Riverside and

LaVilla areas. He was ultimately convicted of the Duval County

burglary charge and sentenced to 10 months in the Duval County

jail.

CRIME NEWS

OFFICER CRITICAL: A Fernandina Beach police officer was in

critical but stable condition at University Medical Center

yesterday after being hit in the forehead late Thursday,

officials said.

Someone hit James Branning, 26, with an unknown object while

the officer was investigating a report of a suspicious person at

an elementary school, police said. …

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