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Driver Accused of DUI After Crashing into Hillsborough Deputy’s Patrol Car

Cole Mason Gatlin | HCSO Patrol Car | Arrests

He admitted he had been drinking before getting behind the wheel, and failed both field and breath tests, deputies say.

VALRICO – The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office accused a driver of DUI after he crashed into a deputy’s patrol car Saturday (Sept. 5) morning in Valrico.

Cole Mason Gatlin, 21, of Fort Meade, was charged with one count of DUI with Property Damage.

The crash happened about 4:43 a.m. on State Road 60 E at the N Valrico Road intersection.

Deputies said Gatlin, 21, was traveling east on SR 60 through the N Valrico Road intersection when his 2018 white Ford Taurus struck the left back side of a marked HCSO 2016 Dodge Charger located in the center lane. Two deputies were inside the patrol car at the time of the crash. After the initial collision, the Taurus hit the back of a 2013 white Toyota Sequoia.

Gatlin displayed visible signs of impairment when he got out of his car. Deputies said he was arrested at the scene after failing the field sobriety exercises. He provided a lawful breathe sample that indicated his blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit: – 0.181 percent and 0 .168 percent BAC, respectively.

Gatlin admitted to deputies he consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel and, despite feeling its effects, continued to drive.

“We are beyond grateful our deputies and the driver of the Toyota Sequoia walked away from this accident with no injuries, because we all know this could have had a tragic outcome,” said Sheriff Chad Chronister. “This 21 year old’s irresponsible behavior will not go unpunished and I sincerely hope he considers himself lucky all those involved, including himself, survived.”

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE.

Hillsborough Sheriff | Crime | DUI | Arrests | SR 60 Crash | Deputy-Involved Crash | Tampabay News | News Tampa

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