Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hillsborough deputy, volunteer crash car into airport antennas

TAMPA — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a Sheriff's Office volunteer and deputy who crashed a car into a navigational system at the Tampa Executive Airport early Saturday morning.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office volunteer William Nelson was driving his personal 2013 Chevrolet Camaro around the airport with Deputy Paul Rogers as part of a routine perimeter check shortly before 6 a.m., deputies said.

Nelson drove his car onto the main runway for no plausible reason and began to speed. At the southwest end of the runway, deputies said, he lost control of the car and hit the instrument landing system antennas, which provide navigation information for airplanes.

No one was injured, but the instrument landing system was damaged and unable to operate.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the Hillsborough Aviation Authority were notified, and the Sheriff's Office initiated criminal and administrative investigations. The Sheriff's Office will work with the FAA to determine if Nelson and Rogers violated any federal or state laws.

Both Nelson and Rogers were assigned to the Sheriff's Office aviation section. Rogers' status as a Sheriff's Office pilot has been suspended and he faces possible disciplinary action. Nelson, a retired Sheriff's Office sergeant, was removed from volunteer duties and could face criminal charges.

The runway was closed for a brief time and the instrument landing systems remained inoperable as of Saturday night.

Hillsborough deputy, volunteer crash car into airport antennas 03/09/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 9, 2014 9:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title


    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  2. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  3. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)


    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]
  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Mayor: Men stabbed after anti-Muslin rant died as 'heroes' (w/video)


    PORTLAND, Ore. — Police said Saturday they'll examine what appears to be the extremist ideology of an Oregon man accused of fatally stabbing two men who tried to intervene when the suspect yelled racial slurs at two young women who appeared to be Muslim on a Portland light-rail train.

    A sign of thanks rests against a traffic light pole at a memorial outside the transit center on Saturday in Portland, Ore. [Associated Press]