Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

3 jail trusties in bad shape

LAND O'LAKES — Three Pasco County jail inmates remained in local hospitals Wednesday, recuperating from their injuries after being thrown from a transport vehicle that skidded and flipped Tuesday on U.S. 41.

John Pelcher, 29, of New Port Richey, was listed in serious condition. Two inmates were in fair condition and three were treated and released back to the jail.

They were all "trusties," low-risk inmates returning to the jail from a county work detail at a county water treatment plant near Ehren Cutoff, according to Doug Tobin, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Tobin said the inmates did pressure washing and general yard work.

They were injured about 2 p.m. when the military-style transport vehicle overturned just south of State Road 52.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Deputy David Phaneuf, 50, lost control of the truck when he hit the brakes. The highway was wet from a heavy rain.

The vehicle spun off the road and flipped in the air, landing back on its wheels in a vacant, marshy lot north of Shettle Road.

One inmate rode in the front cab with Phaneuf. The other five inmates riding in the back of the truck were ejected.

"We are very fortunate that nobody was more seriously injured," Tobin said.

Phaneuf, a 15-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, was "bruised and sore" and was treated and released from a hospital, Tobin said.

The transport vehicle is a 1995 surplus military workhorse known as a "deuce and a half" because it can carry 2 1/2 tons. The truck had routine maintenance inspections, with the latest on Feb. 3.

The back of the truck where the inmates sat was open — like a pickup — with a frame of metal bars and a tarp covering it. The inmates were not shackled or handcuffed. They sat on bench seats and did not wear seat belts, Tobin said.

Sgt. Larry Kraus, spokesman for FHP, said it is legal for people over the age of 18 to ride in the back of cars or trucks without seat belts. He said this particular type of vehicle is often used by the military to transport troops.

"It was a tragic accident," Kraus said. "The last thing (the Sheriff's Office) wants to do is flip a car with inmates in it."

He said the accident remains under investigation.

Times staff writer Molly Moorhead contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6229.

3 jail trusties in bad shape 02/10/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 11, 2010 11:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Cal Foote said he was so young when his father, Adam, played in the NHL, he didn't remember their hug in the Avalanche's dressing room during the 2001 Stanley Cup celebration.

    Head shot of Times staffer Joe Smith. Joe Smith is the Tampa Bay Lightning beat writer for the sports department. Staffer mug shot taken in Times studio on Tuesday (06/20/17).
  2. Lightning journal: Plans set for 25th anniversary celebration

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — The Lightning revealed some of its plans for its 25th anniversary season Friday, including a ceremony to honor the 2004 Stanley Cup team.

    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 27:  Anthony DeAngelo of the Tampa Bay Lightning poses for a portrait during the 2014 NHL Draft at the Wells Fargo Center on June 27, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    While the Lightning is still trying to bolster its blueline via trade, it selected a big, right shot defenseman Cal Foote at No. 14 overall Friday in the NHL Draft.

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.