One person was killed in a multi-vehicle crash involving a Pinellas County deputy in Pinellas Park.
Officials said a Chevy Equinox and a Pinellas County deputy patrol vehicle were stopped at a red light at the intersection of 126th Avenue North when a Buick LeSabre, traveling southbound in the northbound lanes of 66th Street N., collided head-on with the Chevy.
The collision caused the Chevy to hit the deputy vehicle before rolling onto the driver’s side.
The driver of the Buick, a 28-year-old woman, was transported to the hospital for life-threatening injuries and was later pronounced deceased.
The driver of the Chevy and the Pinellas County deputy were also transported the hospital for minor injuries.
Officials said impairment appears to be a factor in the crash.
No other details have been released. The investigation remains ongoing.
Wrong-way collisions are not an anomaly in the Tampa Bay area. The Tampa Bay area is one of the worst areas for wrong-way collisions. In fact, a study by the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles found Florida had 1,490 wrong-way crashes and 96 fatalities in 2015. Three Tampa Bay counties made the top 10 list of most wrong-way driving crashes in the state: Hillsborough was fourth, Pinellas was sixth and Pasco was eighth.
Sadly, an overwhelming number of wrong-way collisions are related to the use of alcohol or drugs. Drivers are more likely to disregard traffic control devices or fail to notice signs that mark the entrances to one-way streets when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.