Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police ID teen driver in St. Pete Beach auto crash

ST. PETE BEACH — Shawn Guizzotti, the 17-year-old still hospitalized after he was ejected from a Ford Taurus during an early-morning car crash April 25, was behind the wheel with three teen passengers at nearly 70 mph, police said Tuesday.

Police have asked prosecutors to subpoena the medical records of all four teens in the car to determine whether they were drinking or using drugs before the crash.

That will help determine whether car owner Rachel Bolinder, 33, the mother 15-year-old passenger Megan Ault, could be charged in connection with the crash, police said.

Police identified the four teens as Guizzotti; Ault; Ronald Wade Linderholm Jr., 16; and Michael Cannon, 15. Linderholm was later arrested on unrelated charges.

Using a surveillance tape from the nearby Don CeSar Beach Resort and Spa, police determined that Guizzotti was driving about 70 mph in a 35 mph zone moments before the car jumped a curb, cleaved a palm tree, went airborne over a yard, ripped the top off an ornamental brick well and landed upside down at 30th Avenue.

No one in the car was wearing a seat belt, police officer Brett Schambach said. Physical evidence and witness statements put Guizzotti behind the wheel, Schambach said. Among other things, the driver’s door was gone, and Guizzotti was the only one thrown from the vehicle.

Ault is Guizzotti’s girlfriend, Schambach said, and “she would have no reason to put him behind the wheel if he wasn’t. And he could not have been ejected unless that door was missing.”

Police are still trying to piece together what happened before the crash. Bolinder told the St. Petersburg Times she and the four teens met two strangers at the beach and spent the evening at their house “hanging out.” She said she had two sips of alcohol about midnight before gathering the group to leave about 4:30 a.m. She ordered Linderholm from the car, she said, when he “bugged” her about driving and said the teens took the vehicle after she stopped at the strangers’ house to use a bathroom.

Schambach said witnesses identified one of the strangers as Alexander John Mattie, 39, who lives less than a block from the accident scene. But Mattie said he “has some personal issues” that have prevented him from being questioned, Schambach said.

Police ID teen driver in St. Pete Beach auto crash 05/19/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 12:39am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NATO rolls out the red carpet, buffs its image for Trump


    BRUSSELS — NATO is not only rolling out the red carpet for U.S. President Donald Trump in Brussels Thursday, the military alliance — which Trump once declared obsolete — has been busy repackaging its image and is ready to unveil a new headquarters worth more than 1 billion euros.

  2. Taiwan becomes first in Asia to recognize same-sex marriage


    TAIPEI, Taiwan — In a first for Asia, Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, punctuating a yearslong campaign by advocates for gay rights in one of the continent's most liberal democracies.

    Same-sex marriage supporters wave rainbow Taiwan flags after the Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, Wednesday, May 24, 2017. Taiwan's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday, making the island the first place in Asia to recognize gay unions. [Associated Press]
  3. 'Top Gun' sequel? Tom Cruise says it starts filming soon


    Tom Cruise is once again feeling the need for speed.

    Tom Cruise starred in "Top Gun" in 1986, and said he'll begin work on a sequel within the next year.
  4. Trump presents Pope Francis with sculpture made by Florida artist


    An artist from Stuart, Florida, made a bronze sculpture that President Trump presented today to Pope Francis.

  5. What could have been the game-winning blast turned into a long single for Colby Rasmus.