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Driver Charged with Vehicular Homicide After Crash in St. Petersburg

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The driver had fled from an attempted traffic stop shortly before the crash, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

ST. PETERSBURG – A South Pasadena man died early this morning (Aug. 2) from injuries he received when another driver ran a red light and hit the car he was driving, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.

Donald Young, 56, of South Pasadena, treated at the scene by paramedics then taken to a hospital where he died of his injuries.

The other driver, John Owa, 28, of St. Petersburg, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He was treated, released, and taken to the Pinellas County Jail where he was charged with one count each of vehicular homicide, driving while license suspended and/or revoked causing injury or death, aggravated fleeing and eluding police, and possession of marijuana.

The crash happened about 4:15 a.m. at the intersection of 49th Street and Fifth Avenue N in St. Petersburg.

According to investigators, a Violent Crimes Task Force deputy was driving his marked Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Chevrolet Tahoe in the area of 22nd Avenue S and 23rd Street in St. Petersburg. While in the area, the deputy said he saw a gold 2001 Chevrolet Malibu that Owa was driving. (The VCTF is a countywide, multi-jurisdictional task force that focuses on violent crime in Pinellas County. The task force is
comprised of law enforcement officers from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, St. Petersburg Police Department and the Clearwater Police Department.)

The deputy pulled his cruiser behind the Chevrolet Malibu and ran the tag. The vehicle’s tag showed the driver, Owa, the registered owner, had a suspended driver’s license. The deputy said he tried to conduct a traffic stop and activated all of his emergency equipment. Deputies said Owa fled from the attempted traffic stop.

The deputy deactivated his emergency equipment and did not follow or pursue the Chevrolet. The deputy notified undercover VCTF members that the Chevrolet had fled in the area.

Deputies said Owa fled westbound on 22nd Avenue S. Members of VCTF were able to surveil Owa from a distance using unmarked vehicles.Owa continued west into the Child’s Park area. Owa continued to drive through the residential neighborhood at slow speeds. Deputies said Owa picked up speed and, at one point, hit a curb in the residential neighborhood, damaging one of the Chevy’s tires.

Owa turned north onto 49th Street S where, deputies said, he accelerated to about 70 mph and drove through at least three intersections with red traffic lights.

Deputies from VCTF continued to surveil the Chevrolet from a distance with no emergency equipment activated as Owa approached the intersection of Fifth Avenue N and 49th Street.

Deputies said Mr. Young was driving a 2007 Ford Mustang east on Fifth Avenue N. Mr. Young entered the intersection at 49th Street with a green traffic light. A witness told deputies that Owa’s Chevrolet was traveling north in the southbound lanes of 49th Street when Owa ran the red traffic light at the intersection and hit the passenger side of Mr. Young’s Ford.

Pinellas Sheriff | Crime | Vehicular Homicide | Arrests | Donald Young | Tampabay News

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Driver Charged with Vehicular Homicide After Crash in St. Petersburg
Article Name
Driver Charged with Vehicular Homicide After Crash in St. Petersburg
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The driver had fled from an attempted traffic stop shortly before the crash, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said.
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TB Reporter
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