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Pasco deputy's cruiser collides with car

A Pasco sheriff's deputy struck another car with his patrol cruiser Monday morning when he drove into the middle of a busy intersection to direct traffic.

Cpl. Wandell Everett responded to the intersection of State Road 54 and U.S. 41 just after 9 a.m. because the railroad crossing arms were stuck in the down position and the traffic light was red in both directions, reports said.

Everett drove into the intersection with his lights and siren activated to get out and direct traffic. But as he entered the intersection, the cross arms raised, so Everett switched off his lights and siren and began a U-turn, reports said.

Mary Barksdale, 60, of Hudson, was headed north on U.S. 41 and, seeing that the light at SR 54 had turned green, drove through the intersection. She didn't see Everett's patrol car turning in front of her until it was too late, she told authorities. There were no injuries.

Barksdale's car sustained about $500 in damage, reports said. The patrol cruiser had $250 damage to the front bumper.

The Sheriff's Office, citing agency policy, would not discuss whether action would be taken against Everett.

It wasn't clear whether Everett was cited for causing the accident. The Florida Highway Patrol trooper who handled the crash could not be reached for comment.

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