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FHP: Armored van overturns after crash with drunken driver

LAND O'LAKES — A collision with a drunken driver sent an armored vehicle rolling across Dale Mabry Highway, seriously injuring two men and spilling money across the road, authorities said.

The accident happened about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday just south of the apex with U.S. 41.

Officials shut down a stretch of southbound Dale Mabry for the duration of rush hour. Crews from Pasco Fire Rescue extricated two men from the Dunbar Armored van, and deputies picked up the bags of coins that cascaded across the highway.

The man cited for causing the accident is Jose Soto, 27, of Lutz. The Florida Highway Patrol said Soto was driving his four-door Chevy north on Dale Mabry. Then he turned left, crossing the path of the armored van heading south.

The collision sent the armored van spinning clockwise. Dunbar driver Todd Laslo overcorrected, causing the van to roll "several times" FHP said.

Laslo and his passenger, James Ahern, were both taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in serious condition, FHP said.

Soto was also taken to St. Joseph's Hospital with minor injuries. The patrol said he was driving under the influence and on a suspended license. He was also cited for violation of right of way. Soto's prior arrests include charges of DUI, possession of controlled substance, child neglect, and repeatedly driving on a suspended license.

Dunbar Armored quickly dispatched another red truck to the scene to retrieve the money from the van and the roadway.

FHP: Armored van overturns after crash with drunken driver 04/06/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 10:02pm]
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