Pedestrian Killed by Driver Fleeing from Plant City Police
Plant City police said they were not chasing the car when it hit the pedestrian.
PLANT CITY – A Plant City man died Friday (Nov. 16) when he was hit by a driver who was fleeing from officers, the Plant City Police Department said.
Armando Lopez, 43, of Plant City, died at the scene. He was walking along the south shoulder of Sammonds Road on his way to work when he was hit.
The driver, Daniel Castro, 26, of Plant City, was charged with Vehicular Homicide, Leaving the Scene of a Fatality Crash, No Valid Driver’s License Involving a Fatality, Leaving the Scene of a Crash Involving a Fatality, Aggravated Fleeing to Elude, and Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer with a Deadly Weapon (Motor
Sierra Vickery, 25, a passenger in the car, was arrested on a warrant charge unrelated to this incident.
Emmanuel Sandoval, 30, of Plant City , the other passenger, eluded police. Sandoval has outstanding warrants for Grand Theft, Driving While License Suspended, and Resisting an Officer without Violence, as well as several felony charges pending from this incident.
The incident began when a Plant City police officer was trying to locate Sandoval who had an outstanding felony warrant. Sandoval had been seen on foot within the Plantation at Walden Lake Apartment complex, 1400 Plantation Blvd. in Plant City.
Sandoval saw the officer and got into a Ford Fusion that Castro was driving. The car fled from the officer who was on foot. The officer used a set of spike strips to try stopping the car but was unsuccessful.
Other officers converged on the area and one saw the Ford in a neighborhood just east of the apartment complex. Police said they weren’t able to get close enough to get a license number or to make a traffic stop.
Police said they next saw the car in the area of S Alexander Street and Sammonds Road. Officers said they tried to make a traffic stop but decided not to because of the reckless manner in which Castro was driving. The car continued westbound on Sammonds Road at a high rate of speed, at which time officers stopped pursuit.
The Ford did not stop at the intersection of Woodrow Wilson Street, continued west and made into a sharp right hand turn. The driver failed to see Mr. Lopez who was walking along the south shoulder of Sammonds Road.
Castro was driving so fast and recklessly that he lost control in the turn and hit Mr. Lopez, police said.
Officers lost sight of the Ford, but found it where it crashed about 1,400 feet west of Woodrow Wilson Street. Upon arrival, officers saw three people running from the crash. They were able to catch Castro and Vickery.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office provided aerial and K9 support, as well as ground units to help locate Sandoval but were unable to do so. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Plant City Police Department at (813) 757-9200.
Police said video from a nearby business shows both the reckless manner in which Castro was driving and the fact that no police were actively pursuing the Ford.
Photo shows, from left, Emmanuel Sandoval, Daniel Castro and Sierra Vickery.
Plant City Police | Crime | Arrests | Armando Lopez | Tampabay News
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