NEW PORT RICHEY
One dies, 10 are hurt in four-vehicle crash
A Palm Harbor man is dead and 10 people were injured in a traffic crash at the intersection of State Road 54 and Rowan Road at 7:40 p.m. Friday. The accident involved four vehicles.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a 2003 Ford pickup driven by Thomas Fitzgerald, 54, of Trinity was headed east on 54 and failed to stop at a red light. He rear-ended a 2001 Honda Accord.
The Honda — driven by Corey Erario, 39, of Land O'Lakes — was pushed into the intersection, where it was hit by a 2003 Ford Explorer headed south on Rowan. Fitzgerald's pickup careened into the intersection and was struck by a 2003 Infiniti going north on Rowan. Fitzgerald, who had no passengers, sustained serious injuries.
The rear-ended Honda had three passengers: Carla Erario, 38, of Land O'Lakes, who was in serious condition; Karen Kiewra, 52, of Palm Harbor, who was in critical condition; and James R. Kiewra, 52, of Palm Harbor, who died in the accident. The Honda's driver, Corey Erario, sustained serious injuries.
Everyone in the Explorer had minor injuries, and all are from New Port Richey. The driver was Tina K. Peyton, 37, and the passengers were Robert J. Peyton, 38, Victoria Peyton, 8, and Thomas Peyton, 10.
The driver of the Infiniti was Christopher J. Alfonso, 32, of Clearwater; his passenger was Christopher W. Alfonso Jr., 3, also of Clearwater. Both sustained minor injuries.
Deputy is dragged by fleeing driver
Deputy Angel Rojas told the driver to turn off his car. Barney Beaty, 58, had been pulled over in a traffic stop on U.S. 19 and Ridge Road at 5 p.m. Friday, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Beaty refused, a report says, so Rojas, 55, reached inside the car to turn it off — and Beaty hit the gas pedal, dragging Rojas for several feet.
Rojas, a 17-year member of the Sheriff's Office, was scraped but not seriously injured. Rojas jumped in his cruiser and chased the suspect's car. Beaty was caught near Regency Park Boulevard.
Beaty told deputies he didn't mean to hurt anyone and fled because his license is suspended and he didn't want to go to jail. Beaty, of 7051 Stone Road in Port Richey, is charged with aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest with violence, fleeing to elude and driving with a suspended license. As of Saturday, he was being held in the county jail in lieu of $12,100 bail.