Friday, February 23, 2018
Public safety

St. Petersburg driver arrested after Florida Highway Patrol says chase hit 100 mph

PINELLAS PARK — A 38-year-old St. Petersburg man was arrested Monday morning after striking two vehicles and leading authorities on a chase that topped out at 100 mph, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

At 10:12 a.m., James Earl Williams was seen in a blue 2012 Ford Fusion driving 69 mph in a 55-mph zone along 49th Street N, according to the FHP. He ignored signals to stop and fled, hitting speeds of 100 mph, troopers said. He sideswiped two vehicles at lower speeds during the chase.

Williams struck a van driven by 53-year-old Eddie Sanchez of St. Petersburg at 49th Street N and 126 Avenue. He then hit a pickup driven by Phousa Xaysongkham, 52, of Pinellas Park, at 49th Street N and Park Boulevard, according to the FHP. Neither driver was injured. Each vehicle suffered about $500 in damage.

Williams continued driving along 49th Street N until 73rd Avenue, where he turned and stopped at 10:23 a.m., troopers said. He was arrested on charges of speeding, having an illegal window tint, driving on a habitually suspended driver's license, fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer and leaving the scene of two crashes. Williams was not injured. His vehicle suffered about $4,000 in damage.

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