Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays vs. Angels and Trout, with Odorizzi on mound

    Blogs

    After losing Sunday's game but winning a third straight series, the Rays open a four-game series tonight against the Angels and Mike Trout.

    RHP Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for the Rays, RHP J.C. Ramirez for the Angels.

    Evan Longoria is getting a DH day, so the Rays have rookie Daniel …

  2. Citigroup agrees to pay nearly $100 million fine for Mexican subsidiary

    Banking

    NEW YORK — Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering.

    Citigroup has agreed to pay nearly $100 million to federal authorities to settle claims that a lack of internal controls and negligence in the bank's Mexican subsidiary may have allowed customers to commit money laundering. 
[Associated Press file photo]

  3. Bob Buckhorn apologizes amid online uproar over his joke about pointing machine gun at journalists

    Blogs

    The office of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn issued a statement Monday afternoon saying Buckhorn is apologizing to combat journalists for a joke he made last week about pointing …

    Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn fires a .50 caliber machine gun from a rigid hull inflatable boat during a Special Operations Capabilities Demonstration at the Tampa Convention Center last year.
  4. Eckerd grad presses for answers after closure of Program for Experienced Learners

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — It’s not unusual for colleges to end programs or discontinue majors that suffer from low enrollment.

    Eckerd College
  5. Controversial pick for next principal of St. Petersburg High put on hold

    Blogs

    Robert Gagnon was all set to be the new principal at St. Petersburg High, a plum position in the Pinellas County school district. His name was on a list of top administrative candidates to be approved at a special School Board meeting Tuesday.

    Robert Gagnon, who currently serves as an assistant principal at Northeast High in St. Petersburg, was tapped to lead St. Petersburg High next year pending School Board approval. The recommendation for his appointment was pulled from the School Board agenda by school district superintendent Mike Grego on Monday in light of "new information shared with me" regarding Gagnon's administrative experience in Lake County, according to an email sent to Pinellas County School Board members.