Palmetto motorcyclist airlifted after crash

MANATEE — A 56-year-old Palmetto man was airlifted to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg after an SUV struck his motorcycle Saturday afternoon, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

A Ford Expedition driven by a 32-year-old Bradenton woman was exiting Desoto Junction shopping center in the 100 block of First Street when, attempting to turn left and head south, struck the motorcycle traveling north just adjacent to the center turn lane, said Trooper Julia DeJesus at the scene.

The motorcyclist sustained serious head injury, according to authorities. It appears he was not wearing a helmet because investigators never found one at the scene, DeJesus said.

While the SUV was not traveling at excessive speeds, the driver faces citation of violation of right of way.