The driver of a vehicle being chased by troopers on Hillsborough County roads was involved in two separate crashes Monday afternoon before abandoning the sedan and getting into a vehicle that later rammed a patrol car, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
It began when troopers on Interstate 4 in Hillsborough County tried to pull over Ashley N. Gater, 34, of Tampa, at 1:27 p.m. as she drove a 2020 Nissan Altima that they believed was involved in what the agency described as a “felony theft case” in Lakeland, the Highway Patrol said in a news release Monday.
When Gater headed north on Interstate 75, troopers attempted to stop the Nissan near the 262 milepost, but she fled, according to the release. Gater took the westbound Fowler Avenue exit and, at the Gillette Street intersection, crashed into a 2017 Jeep Wrangler.
After the impact, Gater kept going west on Fowler Avenue, eventually colliding with a Nissan pickup truck, a Ford Crown Victoria and a Kia sedan at the 56th Street intersection, troopers said.
Gater and two other females got out of the Nissan, ran over to a 2004 Dodge Durango with a female driver and male passenger and got inside the SUV, which headed west on Fowler Avenue, according to the Highway Patrol.
Troopers pulled over the Durango after it turned north on 50th Street. The female driver obeyed commands to get out of the SUV, at which time a female in the backseat climbed into the driver’s seat and “intentionally collided with an unoccupied FHP patrol car in a failed attempt to flee,” according to the release.
All five people inside the SUV were detained. Gater was arrested and faces charges related to fleeing and eluding and leaving the scene of two crashes, troopers said, while Grecham B. Toliver, 32, of Tampa, was arrested and faces an aggravated assault charge.
Additional charges are pending, the release said.
No serious injuries were reported as the result of the crashes, troopers said.