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Clearwater Man Charged in Deadly Curlew Rd. Crash

Robert Henry Raymer Jr., 54, of Holiday was killed in the Dec. 12 crash when his pickup truck was hit by a stolen BMW driven by Jonathan Peter Bytautas, 29, of Clearwater, authorities say.

The Clearwater man who authorities say was driving a stolen BMW that caused a deadly crash on Curlew Road back in December is now charged with one count of vehicular homicide.

Jonathan Peter Bytautas, 29, was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 23, following his release from St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa, according to Florida Highway Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Steve Gaskins. Bytautas was transported to the Hillsborough County Jail with bond set at $250,000.

Bytautas had been hospitalized since the Dec. 12 crash, which happened around 5:30 a.m. at the intersection of McMullen Booth and Curlew roads in Palm Harbor. FHP Investigators say Bytautas was driving a 2008 BMW 550i when he ran a red light on McMullen Booth and crashed into a Chevy pickup driven by Robert Henry Raymer Jr., 54, of Holiday. Raymer died at the scene of the crash.

The vehicles collided with a third vehicle, a pickup truck, during the crash. The pickup was driven by 60-year-old George Neil Paajanen of Palm Harbor. He suffered minor injuries and was not hospitalized.

After the crash, Clearwater Police told Patch that the BMW driven by Bytautas had been stolen from a Clearwater home in December of 2012. The case is still under investigation, according to Clearwater Police spokeswoman Elizabeth Watts.

Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect date for when the BMW was reportedly stolen.

Related Coverage:

  • Clearwater Man Involved in Deadly Palm Harbor Crash

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Zigsauered February 14, 2013 at 04:19 PM
I do not believe that a person should go to prison for ACCIDENTALLY causing the death of another. Most of us have good hearts and just knowing that the accident was our fault will never allow us peace mentally excluding the lawsuit. However someone that steals a vehicle then having a accident with STOLEN property I have no pity and they should be relinquished to the Prison Industrial Complex!

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