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Hernando deputy admits drug use, quits; trooper is dragged by car

SPRING HILL — A Hernando County sheriff's deputy who was involved in a car crash Thursday afternoon resigned after admitting to superiors that he had recently smoked marijuana.

In another, unrelated incident Thursday morning, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper was slightly injured when the driver of a car he had stopped tried to drive off, dragging the trooper a short distance.

The crash involving the deputy occurred at 12:08 p.m. at Spring Hill Drive and Mariner Boulevard. Deputy Patrick Craven was responding to a call when his cruiser collided with a 2008 Dodge being driven by Wanda Urquhart, 46, of Spring Hill, according to a report.

After the crash, Craven was given a drug test, which is Sheriff's Office policy. When advised that a second drug test would be given, Craven admitted that he had smoked marijuana two weeks ago, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Donna Black.

After declining the second test, the 29-year-old deputy immediately quit the force, where he had been employed since July 2006. Black said there was no indication that Craven was impaired at the time of the crash or during the investigation.

The sheriff's report stated that Urquhart said she did not see or hear Craven's cruiser as it approached the intersection. There were no serious injuries reported, and no charges have been filed, Black said.

In the earlier incident involving the trooper, 19-year-old Joshua A. Turbeville of Spring Hill was arrested after he allegedly dragged the trooper along the road with his car.

Turbeville remained in the Hernando County Jail on charges of aggravated battery, resisting an officer with violence, fleeing and eluding a police officer, and failing to remain at a crash scene involving injury.

According to FHP spokeswoman Heather Glenny, Turbeville was driving on Middlesex Drive near Toucan Trail near Weeki Wachee at 1:17 a.m. when he was stopped by Trooper David Frye for having a headlight out.

Glenny said Frye reached into Turbeville's vehicle as Turbeville was driving off, and was dragged alongside the car for about 30 feet until he was able to free himself. Other troopers at the scene stopped Turbeville and made the arrest, she said.

Frye, a three-year veteran of the force, was taken to Oak Hill Hospital, where he was treated for minor scrapes and bruises.

"He got away lucky," Glenny said of Frye.

A check of Turbeville's Florida driving record indicated several moving violations in recent years. In addition, his license had been suspended in 2007 for failure to pay traffic fines.

Logan Neill can be reached at

lneill@sptimes or 848-1435.

Hernando deputy admits drug use, quits; trooper is dragged by car 03/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2008 8:53pm]
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