The Tampa Bay Times reported recently that a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy in pursuit of alleged car thieves on Wednesday, January 6 struck a pedestrian while driving his police patrol SUV in reverse, causing fatal injuries.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, the pedestrian died Thursday morning at a local hospital from injuries sustained in the accident, which took place around 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on Wednesday, January 6, 2021, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and Ulmerton Road. A Sheriff’s Office canine-handling deputy, 29 years of age, was en route to deploy with his police K9 partner in pursuit of individuals suspected of fleeing from an allegedly stolen vehicle. He was westbound on Ulmerton Road,just west of U.S. 19, when he received a radio call from another deputy that the suspects had circled behind his location. The deputy, driving a marked patrol SUV with lights activated, put the SUV in reverse and drove east in the westbound lanes.
The victim had just walked out of a 7/11 and started to cross the road after the police SUV passed. The deputy struck him in reverse without seeing him. He was taken to Bayfront Health in St Petersburg. The accident is being investigated by the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Accident Investigation Team.