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Dunedin woman caused U.S. 19 wreck, then drove off impaired, police say

The 66-year-old woman drove off with her bumper hanging from her Corolla, according to Clearwater police.
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Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and LUIS SANTANA | Times ]
Published Jan. 18, 2021|Updated Jan. 18, 2021

CLEARWATER — A 66-year-old Dunedin woman is accused of driving while impaired Sunday when she caused a crash and then fled, police say, leaving one person hospitalized and northbound U.S. 19 shutdown for hours.

Belinda Hood was arrested Sunday night on charges of driving under the influence causing serious bodily injury, DUI with a blood-alcohol content level of 0.15 or above, leaving the scene of a crash with injury and leaving the scene of a crash with property damage, according to Clearwater police.

The crash took place about 4:20 p.m. on U.S. 19 near McCormick Drive.

Belinda Hood, 66, of Dunedin, is accused of driving while impaired when she caused a wreck on U.S. 19 and then drove off, according to Clearwater police.
Belinda Hood, 66, of Dunedin, is accused of driving while impaired when she caused a wreck on U.S. 19 and then drove off, according to Clearwater police. [ Pinellas County Sheriff's Office ]

The 66-year-old woman was driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla north on U.S. 19 when the crash took place, according to police. She struck an Audi, the arrest report said, causing it to spin and hit another vehicle.

Then Hood drove off with her front bumper hanging off her car, police said. She failed to stop and offer assistance and her information as required by law, the report said. A witness obtained her license tag.

Police say one driver suffered a broken neck, multiple fractures and injured their leg and hip. That driver was reported to be in stable condition at Bayfront Health St. Petersburg hospital. Another driver was treated and released from Mease Countryside Hospital.

Clearwater police did not say what Hood’s blood-alcohol content level was, but Florida law presumes a driver is impaired at 0.08 or greater. Hood was being held in the Pinellas County jail on Monday in lieu of $10,750 bail.

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