Near misses in the Bay area this weekend

Two artists dance with death.

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Attention, theater fans: A local actor needs your help.

Jason Vaughan Evans, a founding member of Jobsite Theatre and one of the Tampa Bay area's best-loved character actors, had a stroke. Doctors had to operate to remove blood clots from his brain. Like many folks, Jason has no health insurance, which means he faces not only a tough road to recovery but staggering medical bills. 

His friends and family established a GoFundMe to help out, but it's still woefully short of the estimated $100,000 Jason's care will cost. If you can donate or share the page, please do so. 

In brighter news, seatbelts save artists.

Seriously.

Chad Mize, a St. Petersburg artist, survived a nasty accident Saturday night, and he credits his seatbelt. Here's what he posted on Facebook:

"I was driving home around 10:55 Saturday night after working all day on the Shine Community Mural. Traveling west on 5th Avenue North and making a left hand turn (green light) onto 66th Street, I was plowed into the front drivers side of my Scion. I then blacked out, not remembering much. The accident occurred right in front of a fire station. I was then taken by ambulance to Bayfront ER where I was given a cat scan and fluids, a first for me. The most vivid memory I have is Dan being there with me in the ER after all this occurred.

"Come to find out this 28-year-old guy who hit my car decided to run on foot after the crash. He was eventually caught and charged with: Violation of probation of Driving while license suspended, Flee or Elude, DUI involving property damage, and DWLSR felony third offense. His bail is set at a total of $15500, and he is awaiting trial.

"I am so grateful that I am able to type this story and recall this surreal, horrible experience. Since I started driving, I was always a seatbelt user. This may have saved my life. Or at least saved me from severe injury."

About The Author

Cathy Salustri

Cathy's portfolio includes pieces for Visit Florida, USA Today and regional and local press. In 2016, UPF published Backroads of Paradise, her travel narrative about retracing the WPA-era Florida driving tours that was featured in The New York Times. Cathy speaks about Florida history for the Osher Lifelong Learning...
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