Deputy injured in third law enforcement-involved crash in Pinellas this week

Published May 31 2018
Updated May 31 2018

CLEARWATER — A deputy was injured Wednesday night when a car rear-ended his sport-utility vehicle, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Rick Serra Jr., 52, was driving south on McMullen Booth Road in a sheriff’s 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe at about 8:55 p.m. Jeronimo Herrera, 31, was driving behind the deputy’s SUV in a 2006 Ford F-150 pick-up truck.

The deputy saw a disabled car with its hazard lights blinking in the roadway of McMullen Booth Road, deputies said. Serra turned on his emergency lights and slowed down to help.

But Herrera didn’t stop, deputies said, and his pick-up rear-ended the sheriff’s SUV at Dr. Martin Luther King St. N.

Serra was taken to a local hospital by another deputy for treatment of minor injuries, the Sheriff’s Office said. Herrera refused medical treatment. He was cited for careless driving and arrested on a charge of not having a valid driver’s license.

He was booked into the Pinellas County jail, where he remained Thursday.

This is the third law enforcement-involved crash reported this week in Pinellas County. On Tuesday, a 78-year-old woman struck a deputy’s cruiser turning right on Seminole Boulevard in Largo, the Sheriff’s Office said. A Clearwater police officer was also involved in a crash Tuesday, injuring himself and two civilians.