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Driver says he blacked out before crash that killed Polk sergeant

WINTER HAVEN — The driver who hit and killed a Polk County sheriff's sergeant with his sport utility vehicle Sunday told deputies he blacked out, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

No charges had been filed by Monday afternoon against the driver, 79-year-old Leo Saunders of Winter Haven.

Saunders drove his Cadillac Escalade off the road, hit a woman standing outside her business, struck the business then careened into the parking lot where Sgt. Wesley Whitmore, 60, was exiting his patrol car, deputies said. The SUV smashed the patrol car into Whitmore before coming to a stop.

Saunders told deputies he has no recollection of the events.

Whitmore died from his injuries. Saunders and the woman he hit, Wanda Perez of Winter Haven, were both taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, deputies said.

Perez was released from the hospital Sunday night.

Driver says he blacked out before crash that killed Polk sergeant 12/13/10 [Last modified: Monday, December 13, 2010 4:19pm]

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