LAND O'LAKES — A Pasco sheriff's deputy was injured Thursday morning when he drove into the path of a Jeep Cherokee at State Road 52 and U.S. 41, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
James Gariepy, 64, was on duty and in the north turning lane of U.S. 41 when the light turned green and a yellow blinking arrow meant he could turn into the westbound lane of SR 52, according to a FHP report. Just before 11 a.m., Elizabeth Pine, 18, was driving south on U.S. 41. She said she had a green light when she entered the intersection and Gariepy turned in front of her. Pine's SUV smashed into the deputy's unmarked Chevy Impala, leaving the front ends of both vehicles crushed.
Gariepy was taken in an ambulance to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. Pine was not injured. She stood with her mother, Margaret Pine, in a Citgo parking lot north of the intersection and looked on as a tow truck loaded the deputy's car onto its bed.
Pasco sheriff's spokeswoman Melanie Snow said Thursday afternoon that Gariepy will be okay. The hospital is keeping him for overnight observation.