Monday, December 18, 2017
Public safety

Levy crash kills driver, injures two Hillsborough deputies, three prison inmates

A crash in Levy County involving a Hillsborough County prisoner transport van left two sheriff's deputies and three state prisoners injured Tuesday while the driver of another car died, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The crash happened about 10:24 a.m. as the van headed south on U.S. 19 in Levy County, troopers said.

At the intersection of NW 140th Street, a 2007 Ford Taurus headed west past a stop sign and into the path of the van.

The driver of the van, Hillsborough Detention Deputy Cephus L. Former, 62, tried to avoid the crash by swerving to the right, troopers said. As he did so, the Taurus slammed into the side of the van. The van rotated before rolling over and coming to rest upright on the side of the road.

The driver of the Taurus, Debra E. Cotton, 40, of Milton, died at the scene, authorities said.

Former and another Hillsborough deputy, Kenneth Haschker, 52, were taken to Shands Hospital in Gainesville for treatment of what troopers described as minor injuries.

The three inmates also were treated for minor injuries. Officials identified them as Sean T. Powell, 42; Darrell S. Milner, 51; and Joseph Armbruster, 38. They are serving sentences ranging from three to 20 years, stemming from their respective convictions for aggravated battery, robbery, and grand theft. All three were headed back to Hillsborough County for court hearings when the crash happened.

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