Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Public safety

Troopers: Driver flees after ramming parked vehicle in Pasco County, injuring two teens

LUTZ — A motorist fled on foot early Saturday after rear-ending a parked vehicle so hard that it overturned, authorities said, leaving two people inside seriously injured. The driver who fled then surrendered hours later and turned himself in at the Pasco County jail.

The Florida Highway Patrol said Saturday that troopers are still investigating the crash and haven't filed charges against Matthew John West, 23, who has addresses in both Largo and Wesley Chapel.

The FHP said West was driving his 1983 Chevy Blazer north on Sunlake Drive, north of County Line Road, around 12:30 a.m. Saturday when he struck a north-facing 2003 Nissan SUV parked at the dead end.

The SUV spun counter-clockwise and flipped onto its right side, crash investigators said.

Authorities said West, whose car also overturned onto its right side, got out and ran. Later that afternoon, he turned himself in at about 2:30 p.m.

The two teens in the SUV — identified as Frank Victor Vasquez, 17, and Kaylee Elizabeth Baer, 16, both of Lutz — were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Vasquez was listed in critical condition and Baer's condition was serious, officials said.

None of the occupants of either vehicle were wearing seatbelts, the FHP said. Troopers do not believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

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Published: 12/12/17