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Police find, question man who drove away from fatal Pinellas Park accident

PINELLAS PARK — A man whom police wanted to question after he drove away from the scene of a fatal accident turned himself in Friday, police said.

Investigators had been looking for Brett Koepke, 25, after he took the wheel of a friend's truck early Friday, leaving behind a woman who had fallen out the back of the truck. Police questioned Koepke, but no one has yet been charged in the incident.

"They're going to wait until the toxicology results come back and then they'll decide what, if any, charges are appropriate," said Pinellas Park police Capt. Sanfield Forseth.

The bizarre accident happened at about 2:20 a.m. Friday as a group of five people in a Ford F-150 pickup, including three women in the truck bed, left a nightclub on 66th Street N. The truck, driven by Russell Allan Clark, 24, ran over a curb near the RaceTrac on 126th Ave N, sending Lauren Gifford, 23, tumbling over the side, police said. She hit her head on the pavement and died.

After the truck stopped, police said, Clark got out, and Koepke took the wheel and sped off. The three women were left behind. Clark was found later, and police took a blood sample from him for testing. Police found the truck abandoned near Koepke's St. Petersburg home.

Police find, question man who drove away from fatal Pinellas Park accident 01/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 9:15pm]
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