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Ocala man arrested after 5-car pileup on I-75

(ran PC edition)

An Ocala man was arrested and charged Friday night with driving drunk with a suspended license when he caused a five-vehicle accident on Interstate 75 and then ran into the woods and eluded the Florida Highway Patrol for 30 minutes, troopers said.

No one suffered serious injuries in the accident, troopers said.

Donald William Markle, 48, was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage, five counts of DUI causing property damage and habitually driving with a suspended license, troopers said.

Markle was driving south on I-75 in a 1981 Ford station wagon and had just passed Blanton Road when he crashed into a vehicle stopped on the right shoulder, cutting his car into two, troopers said. His car spun into the roadway and collided with a 2000 Isuzu Rodeo, causing the Rodeo to roll over twice.

Two more vehicles ran into parts of Markle's car, troopers said.

Markle took off running, troopers said.

He crossed the median and the northbound lanes of I-75 and ran east on Blanton Road, troopers said. Three people involved in the accident followed him and stopped an off-duty Tampa police officer.

The officer alerted FHP troopers, who found Markle 30 minutes later, they said.

Markle, whose eyes were bloodshot and speech was slurred, refused a breath test, troopers said.

Markle was treated for a cut above his right eye and released to troopers at Spring Hill Regional Hospital, troopers said.

He was being held Saturday afternoon at the county jail in Land O'Lakes on $6,500 bail.