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Man on lawnmower critically hurt by woman fleeing Pasco deputies in stolen car, sheriff says

Pasco deputies said the woman was trying to avoid stop sticks when she lost control and hit a man mowing the grass at a Dollar Tree store.
Samantha Harvey hit and critically injured a man on a lawnmower while she was fleeing Pasco County Sheriff's Office deputies, officials said.
Samantha Harvey hit and critically injured a man on a lawnmower while she was fleeing Pasco County Sheriff's Office deputies, officials said. [ Pasco County Sheriff's Office ]
Published Jul. 9

A man on a lawnmower was hit and critically injured Thursday by a woman who was fleeing Pasco County Sheriff’s deputies in a stolen car, the sheriff’s office reported Friday.

Samantha Harvey, 25, was arrested about 6:30 p.m. after the crash. The man on the lawnmower, who was mowing the grass at a Dollar Tree, was taken to a hospital with critical injuries, deputies said.

The incident began when deputies were investigating a report of a stolen car and used the vehicle’s on-board tracking system to locate it. Deputies tried to stop the car, but the driver took off and deputies lost sight of the car.

Deputies later found the car in the Moon Lake area and pursued the driver. Deputies canceled the pursuit, though the car was still being tracked by a sheriff’s office aviation unit.

Deputies got ahead of the car and put down stop sticks. As the driver got near the intersection of Moon Lake Road and Nassau Drive, she tried to avoid the stop sticks but lost control of the car and hit the man on the lawnmower. The stolen car also rolled over, deputies said.

Deputies then took Harvey, who deputies in a news release said suffered “no significant injuries,” into custody. She faces felony charges of auto theft and fleeing law enforcement. She admitted to stealing the car after finding a key in a cup holder, arrest reports state.

The sheriff’s office didn’t release the name of the man on the lawnmower because of its interpretation of Marsy’s Law, a voter-approved amendment to the state Constitution that was meant to protect crime victims but that deprives the public of information long available under Florida’s public records law.

This is a developing story. Stay with tampabay.com for updates.