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Pasco driver killed after head-on collision with deputy's cruiser

A Pasco deputy’s cruiser is removed after a head-on collision Monday with an Oldsmobile van on Starkey Boulevard.

SKIP O’ROURKE | Times

A Pasco deputy’s cruiser is removed after a head-on collision Monday with an Oldsmobile van on Starkey Boulevard.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Something happened to Arthur M. Lent Jr. while he was driving early Monday.

At 6:50 a.m., Lent, 67, was headed south on Starkey Boulevard in his 2003 Oldsmobile van and, for some reason, his car drifted across the road, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Near Springmeadow Drive, Lent's car hit a wall and veered back into oncoming traffic, where the van crashed head-on with a Pasco sheriff's cruiser driven by Deputy Carlos Lopez, 38.

Lent might have suffered a "medical emergency," causing him to lose control of the vehicle, the FHP said.

Lent was taken to Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, where he died.

Lopez was not injured but was taken to a hospital for observation, said Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll.

By Monday afternoon, Lopez was home and resting, Doll said.

Lopez, a deputy who does road patrol, was on duty at the time of the crash.

An FHP report says the collision happened at a "low speed."

Damage to Lent's van was estimated at $1,000, as was damage to the deputy's 2008 Chevrolet Impala each.

The scene was less than 3 miles from Lent's home at River Ridge Country Club in New Port Richey.

The crash remains under investigation, the FHP said.

Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6229.

Pasco driver killed after head-on collision with deputy's cruiser 04/09/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 11:15am]

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