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Clearwater driver charged in a third hit-and-run

CLEARWATER — A 49-year-old man with two previous hit-and-run convictions was arrested Wednesday, accused of driving the wrong way on U.S. 19 while drunk and causing an accident that injured another driver in March.

Clayton J. Harrison, of 2759 Woodring Drive, tried to flee the scene this time, too, authorities said.

According to Clearwater police, Harrison was northbound in the southbound lanes about 8:30 p.m. March 18 when he hit three vehicles.

When Harrison's 2000 Ford pickup became lodged in the third vehicle, he continued to rev his engine, pushing the other vehicle backward, an arrest report says.

Harrison was unable to stand at the scene and was taken to a local hospital, where his blood was drawn, police said. His blood-alcohol level measured 0.352, more than four times the level at which a person is presumed impaired in Florida.

He was cited for leaving the scene because he tried to drive away after the accident.

The driver of the third car, Walter Davis, was taken to a local hospital with back and neck pain.

It was unclear why Harrison was not arrested until Wednesday. It's possible the investigator was awaiting the blood test results, said Clearwater police spokeswoman Beth Watts.

In 1987, Harrison was convicted of leaving the scene of an accident involving injury and fleeing and eluding and received six months of probation.

In 2000, he was convicted of DUI and a hit-and-run crash with injury and was sentenced to a year of probation, Pinellas court records show.

He was released from the Pinellas County Jail early Thursday after posting $5,500 bail.

Rita Farlow can be reached at farlow@sptimes.com or (727) 445-4157.

Clearwater driver charged in a third hit-and-run 04/22/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:01pm]
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