Sheriff: Driver Distracted by Video Game, Hits Pedestrians and Flees
A witness followed him and held him until deputies arrived, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said.
PINELLAS COUNTY – A Clearwater man has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident after he hit two pedestrians, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The pedestrians, Sheree Dean, 37, of Largo, and Sherman Puckett, 29, of Clearwater, both suffered serious injuries and were taken to Bayfront Health Hospital.
Vincent E. Barone, 38, of 2403 Finlandia Lane, Apt. 53, Clearwater, was charged with two counts of leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily injury.
The crash happened about 2:20 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 18) on the north sidewalk, just west of the State Road 580 and County Road 1 intersection in Dunedin. Deputies said a 2003 Honda Civic driven by Barone was traveling westbound on SR 580 passing the intersection of CR 1 when it veered off the roadway and struck Dean and Puckett, who were standing on the sidewalk.
Witnesses told deputies that the Honda failed to stop after striking the pedestrians, and continued westbound on SR 580, fleeing the scene. A witness on a motorcycle followed the Honda from the scene of the crash to the Oasis Convenient Store at 1401 Pinehurst Road in Dunedin. Deputies said the witness called 911 and detained Barone until they arrived.
Deputies said Barone admitted that he accidentally struck Dean and Puckett and left the scene of the crash because he “panicked”. Deputies said Barone told them he was distracted from playing a video game on his phone at the time of the crash. Investigators do not suspect that impairment or speed were factors in the crash.
For information about the Pinellas County Sheriff, go to pcsoweb.com.
Pinellas Sheriff | Distracted Driver | Traffic Crash | Arrests | TB Reporter
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