Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Pasco County woman drives to Hollywood 18 movie theater after accident, FHP says

PORT RICHEY — A silver-haired woman sat on the steps of the movie theater and called out to the trooper.

"I think I'm the person you're looking for," she said, according to a report from the Florida Highway Patrol.

"Is your name Paulette Kochanski?" the trooper asked.

She said yes. It was Tuesday evening. The trooper asked her about an accident earlier on U.S. 19 and Regency Park Boulevard. She said she made a left turn on a green light and felt a nudge. Her truck is heavy and she thought she ran over something. She saw some debris in the road and the traffic stopping.

Then, she said, she continued to the Hollywood 18 movie theater and bought a ticket to see Terminator Salvation.

She said she didn't look at her car when she got out.

If she had, she would have seen chunks of it missing, as well as her spare tire, which was left at the scene. Kochanski, who is 54 and lives in Port Richey, pulled in front of a motorcycle on U.S. 19 a few minutes before 5 p.m., the report said. A witness followed Kochanski's truck to the movie theater. The truck had red paint from the motorcycle on it.

The trooper said Kochanski smelled of alcohol. When asked if she had been drinking, Kochanski said no. Her only medications were the anti-depressant Prozac and blood pressure medicine, the report said. She was asked to perform sobriety tests.

Kochanski started crying and asked the trooper about the motorcyclist.

"I just hope he's okay. Do you know how bad he is? Where did they take him?" she said, according to the report.

The trooper said the motorcyclist — William S. Jolly, 31, of Hudson — was flown to a hospital and was in critical condition.

It didn't seem that Kochanski could have bought a movie ticket, as her wallet was still in her car and she had no money or a ticket stub on her when she was found, the report said.

The accident happened while Terminator Salvation was already playing. The next movie wasn't until 7:35 p.m. By that time, she was under arrest and on her way to the Land O'Lakes jail. A breath test showed her blood alcohol level to be 0.116, the report stated. Florida's threshold to presume someone is unable to safely drive is 0.08.

In the booking area of the jail, the report said, Kochanski overheard the trooper telling a deputy that she hit a motorcycle and the driver was in critical condition.

"I didn't hit him," she said, according to the report, "he hit me."

Kochanski is charged with driving under the influence with serious bodily injury and leaving the scene of an accident. She was in the county jail Wednesday. Bail was set at $10,000.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, this is Kochanski's only arrest in Florida.

As of Wednesday evening, Jolly was still in the hospital, though his condition was upgraded to serious, said Sgt. Larry Kraus, FHP spokesman.

Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@sptimes.com.

Pasco County woman drives to Hollywood 18 movie theater after accident, FHP says 06/10/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 8:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Navy parachutist dies during demonstration over Hudson River

    Military

    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, a Navy Seal team member fell to his death Sunday after his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River.

    Officials surround a U.S. Navy Seal's parachute that landed in a parking lot after the parachutist fell into the Hudson River when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the river in Jersey City, N.J. The Navy said the parachutist was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. [Joe Shine | Jersey Journal via AP]
  2. As White House defends Jared Kushner, experts question his alleged back-channel move

    National

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration argued over the weekend that back-channel communications are acceptable in building dialogue with foreign governments, part of an effort to minimize fallout over White House adviser Jared Kushner's reported discussion about creating a secret conduit to the Kremlin at a Russian …

    President-elect Donald Trump embraces son in law Jared Kushner, as his daughter Ivanka Trump stands nearby, after his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. [Mark Wilson | Getty Images]
  3. Sunstar ambulance unit overturns at Drew Street intersection in Clearwater, prompts road closures

    Accidents

    The intersection of Drew Street and Fort Harrison Avenue in Clearwater is closed following a crash that involved a Sunstar ambulance unit, according to the Clearwater Police Department.

    A Sunstar unit flipped in the intersection of Drew Street and Ford Harrison Avenue in Clearwater Monday morning after a car reportedly ran a red light and struck the ambulance, according to the Clearwater Police Department.
  4. Merkel spokesman: Germany still seeking stronger U.S. ties

    Nation

    BERLIN — Berlin remains committed to strong trans-Atlantic relations, but Chancellor Angela Merkel's suggestion after meetings with President Donald Trump that Europe can no longer entirely rely on the U.S. "speaks for itself," her spokesman said Monday

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech during an election campaign of her Christian Democratic Union, CDU, and the Christian Social Union, CSU, in Munich, southern Germany, Sunday. Merkel is urging European Union nations to stick together in the face of new uncertainty over the United States and other challenges. [Matthias Balk/dpa via AP]
  5. Tampa police: 46 arrests, 47 ejections at two-day Sunset Music Festival

    Public Safety

    Times staff

    TAMPA — In a preliminary tally Monday morning, police declared there were "no major incidents" during the two-day Sunset Music Festival at Raymond James Stadium but boosted the number of arrests and rejections they provided in earlier reports during the weekend.

    A Tampa Fire Rescue all-terrain vehicle patrols the parking area north of Raymond James Stadum on Sunday, day two of the Sunset Music Festival. [LUIS SANTANA   |   Times]