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February 18, 2021

An investigation continues into a deadly drunk driver accident that took place within the city of Tarpon Springs, in Pinellas County, that resulted in the death of a sheriff’s deputy. Reports from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office state that it was on Wednesday, February 17th, that the deputy in question was among those to respond to reports of a potentially intoxicated individual driving a truck.

The reports indicate that sometime around 4:30 p.m., the intoxicated person was spotted at the stoplight at the intersection of Forelock Road and East Lake Road, sleeping behind the wheel of their vehicle. While the individual remained asleep behind their wheel, deputies with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office rushed to the location to assess the driver.

When deputies reached the truck, the driver, a 33-year-old, remained asleep despite attempts made by officers to wake them. In an attempt to reach the driver, deputies smashed one of the truck’s windows. At this point, possibly due to the noise, the driver woke up and accelerated through the stoplight and down the northern lanes of East Lake Road.

Deputies now shifted their focus on how to best stop the vehicle in order to prevent the driver from causing an accident. Knowing that the 33-year-old was traveling down East Lake Road, deputies rushed to a location ahead of the truck in order to apprehend the vehicle. One of these deputies parked their patrol vehicle in the median of the roadway and then exited their car in order to set up a row of stop sticks. It was while they were outside of the patrol car that the 33-year-old came down the road, swerved into the median, and then lost control of their truck.

Before the deputy could escape from the careening vehicle, they were struck by the pickup truck with a considerable amount of force. The impact knocked the deputy off their feet and wedged them beneath their own patrol vehicle. Paramedics and EMTs rushed to the scene in order to try and treat the injured man, but there was nothing they could do. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The driver of the truck was apprehended at the scene and is currently awaiting numerous charges in relation to the fatal collision.

Sources:

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