Drunk Driver Caused Crash into Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office Vehicle, Deputies Say
He hit another vehicle that, in turn, hit the deputy’s marked vehicle, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said.
RUSKIN – An Ocoee man was charged with drunk driving after a traffic crash on U.S. 41 that involved a marked sheriff’s vehicle, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Panfilo Hernandez Saldana, 40, of Ocoee, was charged with driving under the influence with property damage, driving under the influence (over 0.15), and no valid drivers license.
The crash happened about 11:45 p.m. Friday (June 22) on U.S. 41 S at Valroy Road in Ruskin. Saldana was driving his 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis north on U.S. 41 towards Valroy Road. Hillsborough deputies and Florida Highway Patrol troopers were already at the intersection investigating a separate traffic crash in the southbound lane of U.S. 41.
The driver of a 2011 Honda Accord saw the emergency lights and deputies who were in the grass center median with flashlights and stopped so the deputies could cross. Deputies said Saldana failed to stop and rear ended the Honda, pushing into the deputy’s marked patrol vehicle that was parked on the shoulder of the northbound lane.
Saldana was not injured during the crash, however the passenger in his vehicle was taken to South Bay Hospital for possible injuries. Both occupants of the Honda were taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital for minor injuries. The total damage to the three vehicles is estimated at $12,500.00.
Deputies said Saldana had bloodshot watery eyes, a strong odor of alcohol emitted from his breath, his speech was slurred, and he was unsteady on his feet. He provided two breath samples of BAC 0.154/0.156.
Hillsborough Sheriff | Crime | DUI | Arrests | U.S. 41 Crash | Tampabay News
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