Deputies: 18-year-old speeding on U.S. 19 faces charges of DUI, fleeing scene

Published January 21
Updated January 21

PALM HARBOR — A speeding driver on U.S. 19 refused to stop for deputies and took off, later rear-ending a car and injuring three people early Sunday morning, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

A little after 1:30 a.m., Kingzig Montanez, 18, of Holiday was speeding southbound on the highway in his mother’s Hyundai Elantra near Innisbrook Drive. He passed a deputy, who then flashed his lights and attempted to pull Montanez over, the agency reported.

But Montanez kept going, and the deputy lost sight of the car.

Two-and-a-half miles south, Heath Ready, 28, of Clearwater was stopped at a red light at the Tampa Road intersection, with Anabelle Gardner, 22, and Richard Serra III, 27, in the car.

About 1:41, Montanez’s Hyundai crashed into the back of Ready’s Fiat 500, leaving the three occupants with injuries that weren’t life-threatening, deputies reported. Montanez was also injured.

Montanez got out of his car and ran away. He was caught by deputies nearby.

All four underwent treatment at Mease Countryside Hospital. Once cleared, authorities will take Montanez to the Pinellas County Jail. The 18-year-old faces charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence, leaving the scene of a crash and driving without a license.