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Man charged with DUI with injury following Monday crash in St. Pete

ST. PETERSBURG — Authorities charged a man Tuesday with driving under the influence in connection with a Monday crash on Gandy Boulevard that seriously injured one passenger.

Zachary T. Sorenson, 22, of Pinellas Park, was the driver of a 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser that crashed into a traffic signal box on Gandy Boulevard after leaving Interstate 275 at a high rate of speed, St. Petersburg police officials said.

The car left the northbound side of the highway about 3:06 a.m. Monday, police said. Sorenson tried to turn left from the exit ramp onto Gandy Boulevard, but lost control. The vehicle continued straight ahead, hitting a roadway stake before sliding off the road and becoming airborne.

The car landed in the grass median, where it crashed into the traffic signal box and a Verizon phone box, police said.

Virginia Lynn Kardos, 21, of St. Petersburg, who was a passenger in the car, was taken to Bayfront Medical Center in critical condition, police said. Sorenson suffered minor injuries and was taken to Northside Hospital. Another passenger, Randall Edward Biechler, 23, of Seminole, was also injured, but refused medical treatment.

Sorenson was charged Tuesday with DUI with serious bodily injury, DUI with property damage, and DUI with minor bodily injury. He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and later released.

While police were investigating the crash, a 2004 Toyota Corolla rear-ended a police cruiser at the scene. The driver, Kimberly M. Argue, 26, drove away from the scene. A Florida Highway Patrol trooper stopped and arrested Argue a short time later on charges of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.