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Clearwater officer in pursuit hurt in wreck

A Clearwater police officer trying to stop a motorist who ran a red light Wednesday was involved in a three-car accident on State Road 580 near the U.S. 19 overpass.

Officer William Farias, 49, suffered minor injuries and was released after treatment at Mease Dunedin Hospital. No one else was injured.

The accident was investigated by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office because it ended up in that agency's jurisdiction. No citations were issued. The investigation is continuing.

Sheriff's Deputy Cal Dennie said Farias was going west on SR 580 when he saw a car run a light at the U.S. 19 overpass. He decided to stop the car.

Farias turned on his lights, he said, but the cruiser's siren was not on.

A Mercury minivan driven by Harold Bennett, 68, of Clearwater was on the west side of the overpass and had a green light to turn. He clipped the rear of the cruiser, Dennie said.

The cruiser spun around and hit a Dodge Caravan that was headed east and waiting in the turn lane. The Dodge, driven by Tara Goldych, 27, of Clearwater, had minor damage.

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