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Driver causes accident, flees on foot

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is searching for a driver they say caused an accident and then fled on foot late Wednesday night.

Just before 10:30 p.m., Deputy Lamont Akins pulled over a man who was swerving on 50th Street in Tampa.

Deputies, who identified the man as Travis Angel, say he pulled off into a Checkers at the corner of 50th Street and Causeway. When Akins got out of his patrol car, Angel, 25, fled in his car, deputies say.

Deputies say Angel, who appeared to be drunk, took off east on Causeway, hit a railroad track, became airborne and swerved into oncoming traffic.

Traveling westbound on Causeway was 79-year-old Oleg Lyakhovetsky. In trying to avoid Angel, Lyakhovetsky swerved his Dodge van into eastbound traffic, where he crashed head-on with Akins, who was trying to catch up, deputies say.

"He never really got into even a chase mode," sheriff's spokesman Rod Reder said. "He was just trying to catch up. He thought he had a drunk driver."

Right after the deputy and Lyakhovetsky crashed, Angel crashed into a metal pole at the entrance to a lumber yard, Reder said. He then took off on foot.

Both Lyakhovetsky and Akins received injuries that were not life-threatening, Reder said.

A witness at the scene was able to identify Angel through a photograph, Reder said. Angel had just bought the car earlier in the day, which made it easy for deputies to track down his history.

Reder said Angel is on probation for a variety of charges.

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