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Woman hurt as she slows for ambulance and is rear-ended by Pinellas deputy

PALM HARBOR — A Pinellas County deputy driving north on U.S. 19 rammed into the back of a woman's vehicle as she slowed for an ambulance, sending her to the hospital with minor injuries, deputies said.

Deputy Anthony Lorusso, 31, was driving his 2006 Ford Crown Victoria north on U.S. 19 near Curlew Road about 12:45 a.m. early Friday. Kathleen Kotz, 59, of 1383 Homestead Drive, was heading north ahead of him in her 2006 Volkswagen.

A Sunstar ambulance was also on the road, heading north with its lights and sirens blaring as it responded to a call.

Kotz slowed for the ambulance, but Lorusso struck the rear end of her vehicle while trying to miss her car.

She was taken to Mease Countryside Hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening, deputies said.

Lorusso and his police dog were uninjured. It was not immediately clear where he was going or if he was on duty. He has been with the sheriff's office for almost 11 years.

Deputies said the motorists had a green light. The crash remains under investigation. No further details were available.

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Woman hurt as she slows for ambulance and is rear-ended by Pinellas deputy 03/12/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 12, 2010 8:04am]
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