In Holiday, car hits car and both hit house

HOLIDAY — Even driving at lightning speed didn't help Jonathan Eric Bell escape justice.

Authorities say the 21-year-old New Port Richey man caused a two-car crash just after midnight Sunday that injured several people and damaged a house which proved the final barrier for the careening cars.

Kathy Chapman, who lives with her husband at the corner of Moog Road and Ottway Drive, awoke that morning to a sound "like an explosion."

In their bedroom on the opposite side of the house, they dressed quickly and headed for the door. But when Paul Chapman started to walk outside, authorities who had already swarmed to the scene ordered them back in.

Outside, smashed against the Chapmans' garage door, was Bell's black 1987 Mustang and a 1989 Toyota sedan. According to sheriff's reports, Bell was driving 100 mph on Moog when he tried but failed to pass the Toyota.

The female driver of the Toyota and Bell's three passengers, who were not identified, all were injured, reports say. Their conditions were not known Monday.

Bell, who had scratches and bruises on his face, took off running. A police dog tracked him down about a block away.

He was charged with leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and property damage, driving with a suspended license and resisting arrest without violence. He remained in the Pasco County jail Monday in lieu of $3,000 bail.

Bell, of 4442 Kohler St., told authorities he was speeding because he was "trying to get away from the cops," though sheriff's officials say they were not pursuing him.

He admitted to driving the Mustang, according to the report, saying, "No one else can take the blame. It was my fault."

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

In Holiday, car hits car and both hit house 03/10/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 10, 2008 9:39pm]

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