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Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

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Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

Postby Bruce Everiss » Tue 17 Feb 2009 6:24 pm

Full story: http://www.kenilworthweeklynews.co.uk/n ... 4988452.jp

"A Harbury man has been killed by a hit-and-run driver involved in an illegal street race in Florida.
Kenneth Watkinson, 48...............................listed as directors of Concept Medical Ltd, which is based at Heathcote industrial estate in Warwick, and Ingala Healthcare Ltd of Stratford...........................A visitor to an American website paid tribute to Mr Watkinson. "Kenneth was a father to three children, and I am fortunate enough to have known Ken very well. He lit up every party and family or social event that he attended. He will be sadly missed, a great friend and a great triathlete."..................."
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Re: Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

Postby Bruce Everiss » Tue 17 Feb 2009 6:30 pm

Sun sentinel: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/n ... 7774.story

Search continues for hit-run drivers in Fort Lauderdale
Police on the lookout for car witnesses say raced with Porsche

By Sofia Santana | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
February 15, 2009

FORT LAUDERDALE - Police on Saturday continued their search for two drivers and one sports car involved in a hit-and-run early Friday that killed two men who were walking along Seabreeze Boulevard on the beach.

Authorities on Friday had found a white Porsche that they said was involved in the crash, but no arrests were reported Saturday.

Police said they were still looking for another light-colored sports car that witnesses reported seeing speeding alongside the Porsche at the time. The two drivers appeared to be racing, witnesses said.

British businessmen Craig Lewis Elford, 39, and Kenneth Watkinson, 48, were killed instantly when the Porsche jumped the curb onto the sidewalk and struck the men from behind, police said.

Neither the Porsche nor the second vehicle stopped.

Elford and Watkinson were just yards from the Courtyard Marriott in the 400 block of Seabreeze, where they were staying.

Several people called 911 to report the speeding cars moments before the men were killed, police said.

Police ask anyone with information to contact Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here. traffic homicide investigator Sandra Knutten at 954-828-5460 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).
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Re: Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

Postby Bruce Everiss » Thu 19 Feb 2009 11:58 am

Birmingham Post: http://www.birminghampost.net/news/west ... -22959892/


The elderly parents of a Midland businessman who was killed with his colleague in a hit-and-run crash in Florida said they were devastated by their son’s death.

Father-of-three Kenneth Watkinson, aged 48, and father-of-two Craig Elford, aged 39, were mown down by the driver of a speeding Porsche who is thought to have been racing another car at more than 100mph.

The pair, who both had young children, were just yards from the front door of their Courtyard Marriott hotel near Fort Lauderdale beach when the accident happened. Mr Watkinson, from Harbury, near Leamington Spa, and Mr Elford, from Banbury, in Oxfordshire, were both killed instantly.

Mr Watkinson’s mother, Emily Watkinson, aged 74, and her husband Kenneth, aged 86, who live in Preston are said to be devastated by their son’s death.

They described him as a friendly and colourful character and said his tragic death had broken their hearts.

He also leaves behind his wife Kirsty and son Max, aged four, and older children, Stephanie, aged16, and Jonathan, aged 18.

Mr Watkinson left Preston 20 years ago and worked for a pharmaceutical company, before moving to the Midlands where he set up his own business with Mr Elford.

The pair were in the US to recruit people for the business.................

Residents in the village of Harbury said they were shocked to hear about his sudden death.

One villager, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s absolutely shocking news and people in the village are just starting to realise that this is somebody who lived amongst us.

“He lived in one of the road of newer houses on the edge of the village. It is so tragic and I hope they catch whoever is responsible.”

Coun Keith Thompson, who is vice chairman of the parish council, added: “I don’t think anybody on the council knew him or his family personally, but I would just like to say how sorry we are as a village community.

“Our hearts go out to the family for their sad loss.

“The people of the village are with them at this terribly difficult time.”....................

Witnesses described seeing the cars hurtling along at 100mph in the early hours of Friday. Police believe the Porsche lost control and swerved on to the beach-front pavement, hitting the men from behind..................
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Re: Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

Postby Bruce Everiss » Thu 19 Feb 2009 1:44 pm

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/community/n ... 2957.story

FORT LAUDERDALE - Nearly a week after a hit-and-run driver killed two British businessmen, police said it could be months before an arrest is made, even though investigators have the white Porsche they say was to blame and know who owns it.

Police this afternoon released the owner's name, identifying him as Ryan M. Levin, 34, of Fort Lauderdale.

Police say it's too early in the investigation to call anyone a suspect or say what charges they are pursuing.

"They're very complex investigations," police spokesman Sgt. Frank Sousa said of hit-and-run cases. "They can take anywhere from six months to a year."

More complicated still are instances where investigators have trouble proving who was driving. Such may be the case in the accident early last Friday on State Road A1A that left Craig Elford, 39, and Kenneth Watkinson, 48, dead — considering the Porsche's driver abandoned the car less than an hour later.

"You need to place the individual behind the wheel of the vehicle; ownership is not enough," said Ken Padowitz, a former Broward County Click here for restaurant inspection reports homicide prosecutor who is now a defense attorney. "Having the vehicle is a good first step, but [authorities] need to have enough evidence to place a person behind the wheel beyond a reasonable doubt."

That's where piecing physical evidence together comes in — lifting fingerprints from the vehicle, checking cell phone records and inspecting the car to see if there are signs that it had been broken into and stolen.

Elford and Watkinson, both family men who lived a couple of hours north of London, were in Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here. for a business conference. Their relatives could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but others who knew the men told British newpapers that Elford recently celebrated the birth of his second daughter and that Watkinson was a father of three. Both men worked in the pharmaceutical industry.

Watkinson's mother, Emily Watkinson, 74, spoke to the Miami Herald on Wednesday. "We're too old to get over anything like this," she said. "We'll never get over it. They've taken our son's life."

They were walking south on the sidewalk in the 400 block of Seabreeze Boulevard at about 2:30 a.m., approaching the Courtyard Marriott hotel, when the Porsche jumped the curb and struck them from behind, killing them instantly.

The British Consulate in Miami is assisting the victims' families and monitoring the case, said spokeswoman Annette Hugues.

Witnesses called 911 moments before the men were struck to report that the driver of the Porsche GT2 appeared to be racing with the driver of another light-colored sports car.

Neither stopped after the accident, and police still are looking for the second car.

"This is a case for good old shoe-leather investigation," said defense attorney Milton Hirsch.

Hit-and-run investigations carry no set timetable, though typically detectives wait until they complete all or most of their work before making an arrest. At that point, Florida law gives authorities 21 days to file charges against a suspect, or the charges must be dropped.

Police want to talk to anyone who may have witnessed the collision or who can provide information. Contact Fort Lauderdale traffic homicide investigator Sandra Knutten at 954-828-5460 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.
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Re: Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

Postby Bruce Everiss » Thu 19 Feb 2009 1:49 pm

And Ryan Levin has previous, from 2006: http://cbs2chicago.com/seenon/kennedy.e ... 30868.html

$60,000 Bond For Man Accused Of Running Over Cop
Hoffman Estates Man Had Cocaine in Car

Bond was set at $60,000 Monday for a Hoffman Estates man charged for allegedly running over a police officer, then fleeing the scene and causing a four-car collision involving a Chicago police squad car on the Kennedy Expressway on Sunday afternoon.

Ryan Levin, 31, of the 1000 block of Sweetflower Drive in Hoffman Estates, was charged with aggravated battery of a police officer and aggravated fleeing from police involving bodily injury, according to police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli. Levin was also cited for failure to display a license plate, failure to obey a police officer, and failure to stop at a red light.

Levin is scheduled to reappear in Cook County Criminal Court on August 7 for a preliminary hearing.

The accident occurred on the Kennedy at about 12:15 p.m. Sunday when Levin "intentionally" swerved to hit a patrol car, spun out of control and struck two other vehicles on the road as police were in pursuit, said police News Affairs Officer Kristina Schuler.

Levin then attempted to flee the scene by driving onto the grass area between the expressway and train tracks, heading southbound on the expressway, Schuler said. However, his plan failed when his car stalled, she said.

He was then arrested and taken to Our Lady of Resurrection Medical Center, Schuler said. Cocaine was found in his car, Mirabelli added.

The chase began when police were conducting a seat belt check, where officers flag down motorists to check to see if they are wearing seat belts, on West Cortland Street and North Pulaski Road, Schuler said.

Levin was allegedly unwilling to pull his vehicle over and ran over an officer beside the roadway, she said. The officer was taken in good condition to Our Lady of Resurrection Medical Center, Schuler said.

An advisory was placed over the radio warning police to be on the lookout for the offending car, Schuler said.

As a sergeant on the Northwest Side was listening to the advisory near North Avenue and Rockwell Street, Levin slammed into his squad car, Schuler said. Levin then fled onto the expressway. The sergeant entered the expressway at West Armitage Avenue to pursue.

The sergeant was later taken in "stable" condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, she said.
One bystander whose car was struck by the offending motorist was taken in good condition to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Schuler said.
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Re: Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

Postby Bruce Everiss » Thu 19 Feb 2009 2:26 pm

Illinoisan denies link to fatal Fla. crash

February 18, 2009 11:05 PM | No Comments

FT. LAUDERDALE -- A Porsche apparently involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident that made headlines in Florida and England belongs to the son of a wealthy Chicago-area family, authorities said today.

Police said the sports car, which they believed mowed down two British tourists as it raced along State Road A1A on Feb. 13, belonged to Ryan LeVin, a Hoffman Estates man who is heir to the Jewels by Park Lane fortune. LeVin, 34, said he was not behind the wheel that night.
"I was not driving," Ryan LeVin told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

He declined to comment further, referring all questions to attorney Keith Seltzer. Seltzer said he had no comment, declining to say even if he's representing LeVin.

Ft. Lauderdale police have not named LeVin or anyone else as a suspect in the hit-and-run accident that killed Craig Elford, 39, and Kenneth Watkinson, 48, as the visiting Britons walked back to their Ft. Lauderdale beachfront hotel.

Witnesses called 911 minutes before the two businessmen were struck to report that a Porsche appeared to be racing another light-colored sports car along Seabreeze Boulevard.

The Porsche jumped the curb, cutting the men down from behind, within 50 yards of the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, police said.

LeVin's damaged Porsche 911 Turbo was found abandoned less than an hour later on the northbound ramp of Interstate Highway 595 to Interstate 95.

Police remained mum about the identity of the Porsche's owner in the days after the crash but issued a news release Wednesday saying the car was registered to LeVin.

Cook County court records show that LeVin was sentenced to 30 months' probation in November 2007 after leading Chicago police on a high-speed pursuit in a blue 2001 Porsche Targa. Police estimated he reached speeds of 100 m.p.h. during the July 31, 2006, chase, and he struck several vehicles and injured a police officer and two motorists, according to police reports.

After the Chicago chase, police found cocaine in LeVin's car, according to court records. He initially was charged with seven felonies and ultimately pleaded guilty to one of them: aggravated fleeing.

The plea deal required LeVin to enter a substance-abuse treatment program, court documents show.

As part of his probation, he was allowed to travel to Florida to care for his parents' properties, according to court records.

Court documents from Illinois showed that as of 2007, LeVin was vice president for national sales for a company his parents founded, Jewels by Park Lane. The business is described on its Web site as "the world's leading direct sales jewelry party plan company."

Michael Norris, the Schaumburg attorney who handled LeVin's case in Illinois, declined to comment.

--Jon Burstein, Sofia Santana, Juan Ortega and Stacy St. Clair
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Re: Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

Postby Bruce Everiss » Mon 23 Feb 2009 9:19 am

THe Sun newspaper: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/ne ... 263151.ece

COPS hunting the hit-and-run killer of two British businessmen have linked the car involved to a millionaire US playboy.

New dad Craig Elford, 39, and pal Kenneth Watkinson, 48, died when a Porsche mounted the kerb at 100mph as they strolled in Florida on February 13. The driver fled.

It has emerged that the �110,000 car is registered to jewellery firm heir Ryan LeVin, 34 — who is on probation after a separate high-speed chase.

He denies ploughing into the two men, who were in the US to recruit staff for their pharmaceutical firm in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwicks.

Mr Elford, of Ratley, was married with two daughters aged just ten weeks and three. Mr Watkinson, of Harbury, was married with three children aged four to 18.................
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Re: Harbury man dead in Florida car crash.

Postby Bruce Everiss » Tue 24 Feb 2009 10:43 am

Ryan LeVin now in jail for parole violation. And evidence now has him driving the Porsche not long before the crash.

Chicago Tribune: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca ... 3746.story

Ryan LeVin is jailed on Illinois parole violation
Florida officials seek evidence in fatal hit-run in Ft. Lauderdale that killed 2 British tourists

By Stacy St. Clair and Jon Burstein | Tribune Newspapers
February 24, 2009

A northwest suburban man was jailed Monday on a Cook County parole violation as new details emerged about a fatal hit-and-run crash involving his sports car in Ft. Lauderdale.

Ryan LeVin, 34, of Hoffman Estates was taken into custody after a brief court hearing for failing to complete a drug treatment program. A Cook County judge ordered he be held without bail.

Ft. Lauderdale police say LeVin owned the Porsche involved in the Feb. 13 crash that killed two British tourists. No one has been charged in the deaths, and authorities have not called LeVin a suspect.

He has denied being behind the wheel when the crash occurred.

On Monday, a Ft. Lauderdale restaurant confirmed LeVin had been in the establishment that evening and was seen leaving in his Porsche. LeVin left YOLO about 1 a.m. and got into the car by himself, said Andy Fox, YOLO's general manager.

A short time later, a valet saw LeVin's Porsche speed up and down Las Olas Boulevard, a main drag, Fox said. The crash occurred less than two hours after he left the eatery. The restaurant is cooperating with the investigation, Fox said.

Ft. Lauderdale police declined Monday to discuss the case. LeVin's Florida-based lawyer cautioned against a rush to judgment. "Things are not as they seem and not as the media is making it out to be," attorney Keith Seltzer said.

LeVin has been on probation for a 2006 case in which his car hit and injured a Chicago police officer, officials said. He was sentenced to 30 months of probation and drug counseling.

LeVin's Schaumburg-based lawyer, Michael Norris, said LeVin got substance abuse counseling in Florida, but LeVin objected to the drug counselor's demand he stop taking anti-anxiety drug Xanax.

The judge's decision appeared to surprise LeVin. After being taken into custody, he handed his tie, watch, wallet and iPhone to his attorney for safekeeping.

The Florida case was briefly mentioned, as Norris told the court that Ft. Lauderdale authorities were expecting LeVin to return to Florida to provide a "sample" in connection with the Feb. 13 crash. The judge said Florida law enforcement could travel to Chicago to obtain evidence.
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