LAND O'LAKES — A Pasco sheriff's deputy driving in "emergency mode" on State Road 54 collided with a mininvan carrying four children, sending a 5-year-old boy to the hospital with serious injuries.
The Florida Highway Patrol said Pasco County sheriff's Deputy Cindy Guerrero-Gonzalez, 27, was driving east on State Road 54 when she collided with the rear of the van, which was turning left from Oak Grove Boulevard onto SR 54.
Traffic on eastbound SR 54 was backed up and re-routed during most of rush hour Tuesday.
The van, driven by 44-year-old Carolann Rose Ruppe of Land O'Lakes, spun before stopping in the middle of the intersection. Evan Ruppe, 5, was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital with serious injuries. The van driver and other children, ages 2, 7, and 9, were uninjured. All occupants of both vehicles were wearing seat belts or in child seats. The deputy was taken to Florida Hospital with minor injuries.