One dead, one injured in Port Charlotte crash

Posted at 7:44 AM, May 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 14:42:13-04

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Troopers are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash in Charlotte County Thursday night that left one dead and one injured.

Florida Highway Patrol says the crash happened on Veterans Boulevard at Norman Street just before 9 PM.

Troopers say a motorcycle with two occupants was eastbound on Veterans and slowing to make a right turn when they were rear ended by an SUV whose driver didn't see them.

Both rider on the motorcycle the driver and the passenger were thrown from the bike.

The passenger, an unidentified woman, was taken to Bayfront Hospital where she died. The driver of the motorcycle, 66-year-old Gerald Merando, Jr. of Port Charlotte, was sent to Lee Memorial in serious condition.

Neither were wearing helmets at the time.

So far, the 30-year-old driver of the SUV has not been charged, pending further investigation.

UPDATE (12:45 PM) -- FHP has identified the victim as 67-year-old Diane Merando of Port Charlotte.