CLEARWATER — A 71-year-old man died after a pickup he was driving hit a Clearwater police vehicle Tuesday night.
The crash occurred just before 7 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. 19 and Drew Street, Clearwater police said.
Police said the pickup truck slammed into the police sport utility vehicle as an officer was making a traffic stop near Drew Street. The driver of the truck was taken to Morton Plant Hospital as a trauma alert and later died, police said. His name was not released Wednesday because relatives had not yet been notified, police said.
Police said the officer escaped injury because he was away from his SUV and speaking to a pulled-over driver at the time of impact.
The officer’s Chevy Tahoe was significantly damaged in the crash.
The southbound lanes of U.S. 19 south of State Road 590 were shut down for more than three hours as police investigated.